Tense finish as Waringstown cross the line

Waringstown are into the last four of the NCU Challenge Cup after a tense four wicket win over North Down at The Green last Sunday.

A routine passage looked to be there for the taking for Waringstown when North Down collapsed from 54 without loss to 116 for nine on a pitch offering assistance to the spinners

Kyle McCallan took a wicket with the first ball of each of his first two overs to stop a promising start from Jonathan Terrett (37) and Alistair Shields.

With Terrett caught and bowled by Greg Thompson, McCallan then crucially took out the engine room of North Down’s middle order, with Nick Larkin dragging onto his stumps and then Ryan Haire was bowled.

However, Marty Moreland and David Kennedy, the 10th wicket pair, frustrated Waringstown, adding 24 runs before McCallan (5-12) wrapped up the innings with another big-spinning delivery.

Waringstown had leaked 44 extras, including 26 wides and 11 byes and these were mistakes they could have regretted.

A poor call from McCallan saw James Hall run out and then Lee Nelson looked unfortunate to be given out caught behind off the impressive seamer Tim Ley.

When Obus PIenaar was caught low to his right by wicketkeeper Peter Shields off Ley, the momentum was with North Down. McCallan followed soon after, lbw to James Cameron-Dow, the left-arm spinner, and Waringstown were 44 for four and deep in the mire.That they got out of trouble was largely down to the resilience of David Dawson. The right-hander dominated a 46-run stand for the fifth wicket with Thompson. Just as Waringstown seemed to be coasting Thompson lofted to mid-wicket and Dawson (36), after striking four fours and a six, attempted to clear the leg side boundary off Cameron-Dow (2-36) and Ley took a fine running catch. At 102 for six this was anyone’s game but in truth there were few alarms for Simon Harrison and Adam Dennison, Waringstown’s seventh-wicket pair.

The previous day Waringstown lost only their second league game of the season at home to Lisburn in a game badly hampered by the rain.

Lisburn posted 156 for 4 in a curtailed 37 overs with Zimbabwean test player Craig Ervine scored the bulk of the runs with 84.

After several stoppages due to rain Waringstown needed a required target of 166 in 30 overs.

After Kyle McCallan and James Hall departed Lee Nelson (33) and Greg Thompson (31) tried to steer the home team back into the game, but it was not to be.