Sloppy bowling proves costly in the end

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Victoria travelled to Clogher to face Monaghan knowing that a win would help get their promotion charge on track.

After winning the toss and batting first Victoria got off to the perfect start with Matthew Parks and David Reiman opening up. Reiman taking a particular liking to Zeshan hitting 17 off his first over.

Both batsmen looked extremely comfortable as Victoria raced onto 69-0 until Reiman was bowled by the very impressive Corey for a well made 39 which consisted of 7 fours.

In came the inform skipper Andrew Gray and he and Parks continued the charge, both players particularly Parks rotating the strike very well and punishing anything lose on a very quick outfield. Parks went for 31 and the score on 96. Keith Dempster joined Gray and the pair decided to build a very sensible partnership, not taking too many risks while ensuring the run rate stayed consistent.

The pair put on 60 before Gray was bowled by Dhana for 44. Another good knock by the captain who has started the season very well with the bat.

Unfortunately from here the innings started to turn for Victoria with Kenny and Stephen Maxwell both departing cheaply along with Glenn Thompson. Dempster then went for 36 with the score 192-7. David Gilpin and Jake Hanlon finished not out with the score on 199.

Victoria felt they maybe were 40 or 50 runs short after such a good start from the top order.

Andrew Gray and Dave Reiman opened the bowling for Victoria and they got off to the perfect start removing both openers cheaply. Chiragh and Ashek set about rebuilding the Monaghan innings and both were doing a good job until a remarkable spell by Kenny Maxwell. The spinner took 4 wickets in two overs to leave Monaghan reeling with 6 down, Chriagh still at the crease and looking dangerous. He took a liking to any bowling straight or on his legs hitting 5 sixes in his innings. Young Josh McClune came on to bowl and took two big wickets before and after drinks and Victoria were surely in the driving seat and when Gray got the 9th wicket LBW the game was surely up at 130-9.

However phenomenal batting by Chiragh combined with stubbornness by the number 11 batsman clawed Monaghan right back into the game. Chriagh launching a number of big hits combined with some sloppy bowling by Victoria with too many wides being bowled.

Chriagh finished the game with a four over mid wicket to spark big celebrations after what was a very tense end to a brilliant game, the last pair putting on 70 at the end. A tough defeat to take for Victoria and they face a must win game against Ards next week at Lurgan Park to have a real chance of promotion.