Second Twenty20 Cup triumph for villagers

WARINGSTOWN claimed the Lagan Valley Steels Twenty20 Cup for the second time last Friday night.

They defeated Instonians by six wickets at Belmont in the final.

The villagers, who defeated Inst to win the Irish Cup last September, were indebted to a 77-run partnership between captain Kyle McCallan and professional Glen Addicott as they chased down a modest Instonians total of 115 for six with seven balls to spare.

The villagers were struggling on 37 for three when the fourth wicket pair came together, and there were some tense moments as the Instonians spinners threatened to make it a nervous finish.

Ben Wylie and Andrew White both conceded less than four runs an over and Waringstown were 80 for three after 15 overs, still needing 36 for victory from 30 balls.

However, the 16th over was the signal for Addicott to launch a familiar assault on Zach Rushe, the slow left-armer. The South African, who hit a remarkable century to knock Brigade out of the Irish Cup last month, smashed successive towering sixes high over long-on and with McCallan hitting another boundary later in the over, 18 runs had come from the blameless Rushe’s six balls.

That left the equation a simple one and Addicott’s dismissal with just two runs needed, for 39 from just 34 balls, including two fours and two sixes, didn’t take the gloss off the win. McCallan, who has been rejuvenated with the bat in recent matches, finished unbeaten on 41 from 43 balls. He hit four boundaries.

Instonians ultimately lost the match in the first eight overs. Waringstown won a crucial toss and inserted the Shaw’s Bridge side and McCallan’s men were halfway towards victory when they reduced Eugene Moleon’s side to 33 for four.

Eric Layard was trapped lbw by Addicott in the first over and the South African struck arguably the most important blow of the night by having James Shannon caught behind for a first-ball duck.

Andrew White swiftly followed, bowled as he gave himself room and tried to cut the superb Gary Kidd (1-14) and when Ben Wylie departed, smartly stumped by Jonathan Bushe off McCallan, it was difficult to envisage Instonians even posting three figures.

That they did was down to an outstanding innings from Rory McCann. The Ireland wicketkeeper-batsman didn’t play a false stroke and a fine 54-run stand with Rushe, who made 20 from just 14 balls, gave Eugene Moleon’s side something tangible to defend.

McCann hit six fours and two sixes in his unbeaten 74 from just 65 balls and with 45 blasted from the last four overs, Inst at least gave Waringstown something to ponder at the halfway stage. Ultimately it wasn’t enough though as the villagers collected the first silverware of the NCU season.