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WARINGSTOWN started the defence of the Ulster Bank Challenge Cup with the most routine of seven-wicket victories over Carrickfergus at The Lawn on Saturday.

The Villagers, who won the trophy last August after beating Civil Service North in the final, had little trouble in seeing off a struggling Carrick team missing several key players.

It was one-way traffic virtually from the start of the match with only Jamie Holmes, the New Zealand-born batsman, providing any significant resistance from the visitors.

Holmes was aggressive in making 61 but the main problem facing Carrick was the lack of support from the other end.

Glen Addicott, the Waringstown professional, removed his opposite number Ross Gelderbloem for just three and Gary Kidd, the former Ireland left-arm spinner, collected the prize scalp of Michael Taiaroa for eight.

With Alex Haggan bowled by Keith Morrison, making his first appearance of the season for Waringstown, for nine, the visitors were 65 for three.

There was some respite as Holmes continued to hit out and when he and Ryan Eagleson were briefly together Carrick did have genuine ambitions of posting a respectable total.

But when Holmes was caught by Kyle McCallan off Kidd (2-26) it was the beginning of a dramatic slide as an experienced lower order failed to cope with Waringstown’s attack.

Eagleson was left high and dry on an unbeaten 37 as the last six wickets fell for just 31 runs.

McCallan claimed figures of three for six in just 4.4 overs.

Waringstown had an early alarm in reply as Simon Harrison was well taken at slip off Eagleson for a duck, but once James Hall and Lee Nelson had seen off the early threat of the former Ireland bowler and Gelderbloem, there was no way back for the visitors.

Nelson eventually fell, caught chasing a wide delivery from Anthony Martin for 27, but Hall and Addicott (27) led Waringstown towards victory with a 69-run stand for the third wicket.

Hall continued his magnificent early-season form with an unbeaten 79 from just 81 balls, hitting eight fours and two sixes.

Addicott fell late on, caught in the deep as he attempted to hit a long-hop of the ground but Waringstown were home and dry with more than 21 overs to spare.