Villagers reach first Ulster Cup final but not without a scare

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Waringstown reached the Ulster Cup final for the first time in their history on Sunday after surviving a scare against Bready at The Lawn.

The villagers were on course for a seemingly routine victory as the North West club slumped to 88 for eight chasing a target of 184 in a game reduced to 30 overs per side.

Romano Ramoo, Bready’s South African professional, was still at the crease but he seemed to be fighting a hopeless cause until he was joined by tail-ender Adam Warnock.

With nothing to lose the Bready number 10 started peppering the boundary.

Warnock smashed Kidd for two boundaries in the 22nd over and in the following over he launched Kyle McCallan over long-on for six.

With Ramoo playing delightfully at the other end, by the time the 26th over started Bready were 139 for eight and the ninth-wicket pair had added 51 in just five overs.

Then when Warnock launched Obus Pienaar (3-17) high over mid-wicket for his second six the momentum was very much with the visitors.

But from the next delivery Warnock, after smashing 34 from just 18 balls, made his first mistake, top-edging an attempted pull and Lee Nelson took a towering catch running in from deep square-leg.

Ramoo, with just Jamie Magee for company, fell from the first delivery of the next over, playing on to Kidd after making 62 from 62 balls and hitting seven fours and two sixes.

Waringstown will be pondering a batting display. After James Hall hit 50 from 50 balls and Nelson raced to 37 they were well poised on 121 for three with eight overs left.

But the Barr brothers, David and Ryan, took two stunning catches in the same over to remove Greg Thompson and Nelson off Trevor Hamilton (3-40) as Waringstown lost three wickets for 10 to slump to 131 for five.

A 37-run stand between Jonathan Bushe and the excellent Adam Dennison (21) took Waringstown to 175 for eight, with the total boosted by eight runs under Duckworth-Lewis.

A day previously, Waringtstown’s title hopes took a major blow when they fell to a one-wicket defeat toBallymena, the third time in a row they have lost at Eaton Park.

Duckworth-Lewis in truth did the villagers no favours as their total of 148 was reduced by one run. Kyle McCallan (56) and Jonathan Bushe (31) were two of few batsmen to emerge with much credit from another patchy batting display and a half-century from Kaushik Aphale then put Ballymena in charge.

Aphale eventually fell but Ballymena scrambled the winning runs off the penultimate ball of the match.