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THE NCU Premier League trophy will divide its time between The Lawn and Shaw’s Bridge for the next 12 months after Waringstown won a thrilling final game of the season on Sunday.
Instonians already had a share of the title guaranteed after their win over CIYMS on Saturday, but their attempts to win it outright ended as the villagers beat them by 18 runs at The Lawn.
After being inserted by Eugene Moleon, Waringstown posted 128 for seven in their 20 overs, a better total than it looks on a pitch which offered plenty of assistance to the spinners.
In th e end it was Waringstown’s strongest suit, their spin bowling attack, that ultimately decided the outcome and earned them a share of the title, as Kyle McCallan, Lee Nelson, Gary Kidd and the man of the match James Hall turned the screw on the visitors’ batting line-up.
Captain Jonathan Bushe cleverly opened the bowling with McCallan and with the superb Kidd coming on in the third, they threw down the gauntlet to an Instonians top order that has enjoyed almost everything their own way in recent weeks.
McCallan conceded 17 in his four overs, Kidd claimed two for 16 including the prize wicket of Rory McCann and Hall, whose 46 was the cornerstone of the Waringstown innings, completed a memorable afternoon with one for 16.
Instonians richly deserved their share of the title after a magnificent campaign in league and cup, but Moleon may reflect that he probably erred in deciding to bowl first when he won the toss.
&nb sp;It is a tactic that has served the double winners well throughout the season – most notably in the Challenge Cup final win over North Down last month – but with hindsight it was a move that may have invited pr essure on a wearing pitch.
Initially, the ploy looked inspired as Waringstown scraped just 26 from their first eight overs, with Simon Harrison back in the pavilion.
Batting was never easy and it would have been premature to criticise Hall for the sometimes circumspect manner in which he played in the first half of the innings.
Waringstown were just 44 for one after 10 overs, way short of where you would expect in the Twenty20 era, but the platform was there to launch an assault in the second half of the innings.
Nelson (23) and McCallan, bowled unwisely attempting a reverse sweep off Jack Blackiston-Houston, departed within two overs of each other, but the decisive stand of the day=2 0was between Hall and Bushe for the fourth wicket.
The partnership was just 38, but i n the context of the match those runs were vital as Hall began to hit strongly down the ground, and it set the platform for an explosive last six overs, when 50 runs were scored.
Hall eventually fell four runs short of his half century, after hitting four fours and a six in 46 from just 48 balls, and the final impetus with the bat came from his fellow international Kidd, who struck two boundaries in a vital 15 from nine deliveries.
The 11 runs which came from Andrew White’s final over of the innings probably made a crucial psychological impact.
Instonians then promoted James Shannon to open in place of John Stevenson but it didn’t yield the result Moleon wanted. The talented Ireland under-19 star took 14 balls to get off the mark but then it wasn’t easy as McCallan and left-arm spinner Kidd exploited20helpful conditions.
Shannon eventually holed out to long-off but probably the most important dismissal was McCann’s. The wicketkeeper batsman, who has been in superlative form, was looking assured on 21 but, like McCallan before him in the Waringstown innings, he was dismissed reverse sweeping, giving Kidd his second wicket.
Neil Hamilton and Stevenson swiftly followed and at 47 for four after 12 overs, it was hard to see a way back for Instonians.
To be fair they showed the quality of champions in fighting right to the death. White briefly offered hope by hitting Tharaka Kottehewa for a successive four and six over the leg side but then in the following over the Ireland all-rounder struck a Nelson full toss to deep mid-wicket.
With White should have gone Instonians’ hopes but Daniel Graham (23) and veteran Andrew Rose, who made an unbeaten 22 from just 16 balls, caused Waringstown hearts to flutter momentarily3D2 0with a courageous 44-run partnership for the eighth wicket.
They required an unlikely 37 to win from the last three overs and economical overs from McCallan and Kottehewa meant it became an impossible 27 from the final six balls.
Bushe and Moleon held the trophy aloft together, a fitting end to a season which both teams surely couldn’t have envisaged back at the beginning of April.


Sat 29th Aug

WARINGSTOWN increased their lead at the top of the NCU Premier League to eight points after they recorded a crushing six-wicket win over Lisburn at The Lawn on Saturday.
This result was rarely in doubt after captain Jonathan Bushe won the toss and asked the visitors to bat first.
Conditions were good for seam bowling and the combination of Simon Harrison and Sri Lankan professional Tharaka Kottehewa made life difficult for the Lisburn top order.
Kottehewa, who has bowled without luck for much of the season, was typically economical, conceding just nine runs in his nine overs, which allowed Harrison to wreak havoc at the other end.
Harrison bowled some lovely swinging deliveries. His first victim was teenager Adam Berry, and then came the crucial wicket as he trapped Gerry Strydom, the Lisburn professional, for just three.
Craig Ervine, another dangerman, was also dismissed lbw, and Harrison’s fourth scalp was Lisburn captain Greg Thompson, one of the most consistent players in the NCU this season, caught behind by wicketkeeper Bushe.
At 26 for five Lisburn were in complete disarray but they at least rallied with a defiant sixth wicket partnership of 40 between David Simpson (25) and Hennie van der Merwe.
However, the visitors never really broke the shackles, as the off-spinners Kyle McCallan (2-16) and James Hall (2-12) continued where the seamers had left off.
Lisburn were eventually dismissed for just 94 in 43.2 overs and clearly the only threat to a Waringstown victory was the unpredictable weather.
The teams were forced off the pitch on several occasions, but when they did resume, James Hall was in superb touch.
The opener smashed seven fours and a six in a stylish 38 from just 35 balls while Harrison produced an impressive cameo of 15.
McCallan remained unbeaten on 20 as Waringstown got over the finishing line after 26 overs.
The title race is now poised for an intriguing finale, and the villagers will be hoping the weather forecasters have it wrong yet again this week.
Heavy rain is expected until the weekend, which would potentially postpone both of the scheduled games against CIYMS and Instonians.
Waringstown desperately need to win both20games, with the latter match particularly decisive. If Bushe’s men were to win twice, it would guarantee them a share of the title.
Instonians have two matches in hand, and North Down, with one defeat more than the two front-runners, are also still in contention. They have six matches still to play.

Sat 15th August

Villagers go top after dramatic last-ball victory

WARINGSTOWN almost seem to take a perverse delight in winning games in the most dramatic of circumstances this season.
Saturday's three-wicket win over Ballymena was the case in point. The match went right to the final ball, before Jamie Matthews and Ian Morrison scampered the winning leg bye.
Five runs were needed from the final over from Steve Lazars with Waringstown having three wickets in hand as they chased Ballymena’s 170 for seven for a victory to give them an outright lead at the top of the Premier League table.
You would have assumed the visitors were in the box seat, but this was a day when nothing could be taken for granted. From the first delivery, Matthews pushed forward and it appeared that wicketkeeper Neil Fullerton missed a stumping opportunity, which allowed the eighth-wicket pair to scramble a bye.
Ian Morrison hit the next delivery to wide long-on for two but after a dot ball, he hit the fourth ball straight to mid-on and ran, and between them David Kennedy and Lazars really should have run him out.
The drama wasn’t over yet, because with the scores level, Matthews failed to score off the penultimate ball. A tie might well have been a fitting result, but Matthews managed to scramble the winning run off the last ball courtesy of his pad.
Ballymena will reflect that they have only themselves to blame for failing to exploit a superb start with the bat given by their talisman David Kennedy.
In a 47-over game, the home side were inserted by Waringstown captain Jonathan Bushe, who was probably suspicious of a green-looking pitch at Eaton Park.
There should have been help for the villagers’ attack, but they were mostly off colour and the remarkable David Kennedy set about delivering a batting masterclass.
This was a demonstration of how to bat in difficult conditions. He was barely troubled, dominating a second-wicket partnership of 87 with makeshift opener Michael Taylor (33). The Kennedy knock featured his trademark shrewd placement, some strong running between the wickets, and six boundaries struck on either side of the wicket.
To be fair, Waringstown didn’t bowl well as a unit. Simon Harrison was off colour with the new ball and likewise the left-arm spinner Gary Kidd.
If you assume that anything around 160 is a par score at Eaton Park, when Ballymena were 132 for two in the 37th over, with David Kennedy and Lazars at the crease, they were poised for a total in excess of 200.
That would almost certainly have guaranteed victory but instead Ballymena pressed the self destruct button. Lazars hit a waist high full toss from Kidd to point and then most crucially in the 40th over, David Kennedy hit Keith Morrison to deep mid-wicket where Matthews held the second of his two impressive catches.
Just 23 runs came from the final seven overs, a tribute to some fine bowling from Keith Morrison (2-20) and Tharaka Kottehewa, who although wicketless went for just 23 in his 10 overs.
Ballymena almost certainly would have taken 170 at the start of the game, but that late innings slump allowed a Waringstown batting line-up without Kyle McCallan and James Hall a sniff of an opportunity.
In truth, the run chase was mostly grim viewing. Kidd and Lee Nelson failed to get going, and Waringstown were gradually falling behind the asking rate during a second wicket stand of 33 in 12 overs between Harrison and Andrew Cousins as the spinners turned the screw.
Cousins was beaten by a shooter from Simon McDowell, and that allowed Jonathan Bushe to come to the crease.
The captain signalled his intent by crashing his first delivery from McDowell to the boundary, and his 34 from 34 balls changed the whole momentum of an innings which had been in danger of grinding to a complete halt.
Perhaps the game-changing moment came when Bushe was dropped on 18 on the long-on boundary in the 30th over with Waringstown still more than 70 runs from victory.
The nerves continued to jangle as Harrison was bowled after making a gritty and crucial 48 from 106 balls, and Bushe was caught at mid-wicket after striking five boundaries in a crucial cameo.
Every time Waringstown looked like they had the game under control, they lost a wicket. K eith Morrison, who had a fine match, looked to be winning it before he was lbw, but it was his brother Ian with 10 not out who held his nerve in that nail-biting finale.

Sunday 16th August

JUST when Waringstown's supporters thought they had one nerve-racking weekend match to contend with, along came Sunday's remarkable victory over CIYMS.
Surely even the most optimistic fan couldn't have believed Waringstown could pull off a win when they were reduced to 57 for five as they chased CI’s 172 for six in a match reduced to 38 overs per side.
Waringstown were already missing Kyle McCallan and James Hall, so when the top order failed in spectacular fashion, it seemed only one result was possible.
Simon Harrison managed a brief flurry to reach 19, but the remainder of the top five were hugely disappointing.
CIYMS appeared to be in complete control, but the game turned on its head, first as Sri Lankan professional Tharaka Kottehewa and veteran Alan Waite added 60 for the sixth wicket.
Kottehewa, better known as a seam bowler, was the dominant partner with a series of superb boundaries and scampered singles, but Waite rolled back the years with a gritty 26 from 49 balls.
Waite, who aggravated a hamstring injury and struggled to run as his innings progressed, was eventually run out attempting a single.
It may have been a blessing in disguise as Kottehewa then found a willing ally in teenager Jamie Matthews, who kept his cool admirably during a quickfire 49-run partnership for the seventh wicket.
It was nerve-racking stuff as Matthews eventually fell for an impressive 19, but Kottehewa remained at the crease on 69 from just 68 balls, a magnificent knock which included five fours and a six.
There was a brief wobble as Matthews fell in the 36th over which realised just a single, but Kotthewewa was coolness personified until the last.
Steven Allen, another of the talented teenagers coming off the seemingly never-ending conveyor belt at The Lawn, hit the winning boundary through the covers with nine balls remaining off Derek Heasley to break CI hearts. It was his first scoring shot in senior cricket, and provoked wild celebrations in the home camp as Waringstown maintained their four-point lead at the top of the Premier League table.
Earlier in the day, Waringstown had initially taken charge when Kottehewa claimed two early wickets, but Heasley and Barry Cooper hit half centuries for the relegation threatened Belmont club to help reach what looked to be an impregnable target.


WARINGSTOWN joined Instonians at the top of the NCU Premier League on Sunday after completing back to back weekend wins over struggling Woodvale.
The villagers took just 25.1 overs to chase down the home side’s 158 for nine at Ballygomartin Road, with Lee Nelson and James Hall once again in superb touch in an eight-wicket win.
Nelson, the Ireland under-19 star, struck five fours and three sixes in an unbeaten 56. Hall was scarcely less impressive, hitting five fours and three sixes before he was dismissed by Woodvale captain Paul Robinson for 46.
Simon Harrison (21) had enjoyed a 49-run partnership for Hall for the first wicket, with Hall and Nelson adding 40 for the second wicket.
In the Woodvale innings Nigel Palmer top scored with 47 and professional Sujit Khablor made 30, but they rather lost their way, losing seven wickets for 38 runs after they had reached 119 for two.
Kyle McCallan did most of the damage with four for 39 while Tharaka Kottehewa claimed two for 19 from his 10 overs. Hall was also economical with his off-spin, conceding just 23 runs in his 10 overs.
The previous day, Waringstown clinched what must be one of the earliest league finishes of the season when they thrashed Woodvale by ten wickets at The Lawn.
The visitors managed just 80 all out in 28.1 overs. Professional Kottehewa and Harrison both bowled their overs straight through, with Kottehewa bowling his opposite number Khablor for a duck on his way to claiming two for 29.
Harrison bowled beautifully in claiming four for 23, with the only resistance coming from Darren O’Neill, who struck one four and one six in his unbeaten 27. Kyle McCallan mopped up the tail with three for 11.
Waringstown obviously had to be somewhere in a hurry as they clinched a 10-wicket win in 12.1 overs by 3.20pm. Hall smashed six fours in an unbeaten 41 from just 35 balls, while Gary Kidd, promoted up the order, struck four boundaries in his unbeaten 27 from 38 balls. The match would have been over 22 minutes earlier had it not been for a rain delay.
Waringstown have now won nine of their 12 Premier League matches, and they have another double header this weekend. They face a difficult assignment at Eaton Park on Saturday against Ballymena, before CIYMS are the visitors to The Lawn on Sunday


WARINGSTOWN would not have envisaged this at the start of the season, but Saturday’s Premier League victory over Carrickfergus at The Lawn has put them right in the hunt at the top of the table.
The villagers ruthlessly defeated their visitors by nine wickets to go joint second in the table along with North Down, Lisburn and Civil Service North. They are just four points behind leaders Instonians with a match in hand.
Waringstown have won seven of their 10 league matches, a remarkable achievement when you consider how many of the teams in the top division strengthened their squads over the winter, and that they are still awaiting a major contribution from professional Tharaka Kottehewa.
Saturday was very much a vindication of the club’s youth policy with young gu ns James Hall, Lee Nelson and Gary Kidd combining to destroy a Carrickfergus team who continue to under-perform.
Kidd, the Ireland left-arm spinner, is improving as the weeks go by. He was unfortunate not to get more wickets in the TCH Challenge Cup semi-final defeat by North Down but here he claimed three for 27, including the prize scalps of big guns Gavin Ewing, the Zimbabwean professional, Andrew Cowden (44) and the Australian Matt Mangan.
Simon Harrison (2-24) meanwhile produced another excellent spell of swing bowling with the new ball, which included the prize wicket of Ireland batsman Paul Stirling.
Carrick, who are a much better team than their recent results suggest, scraped their way to 180 for eight in their 50 overs and although they di smissed Ian Morrison for just a single, the visitors were badly missing the influence of captain Ryan Eagleson with the new ball.
Eagleson was away coaching the Ireland under-17 side and Nelson and Hall cashed in, producing a superb unbeaten partnership of 183 for the second wicket.
The villagers reached the target in just 35.1 overs, with Hall unbeaten on 72 off 96 balls. He struck four fours and three sixes and was back hitting the ball strongly down the ground in the manner that originally earned him Irish selection. Nelson meanwhile was 91 not out from 111 balls. The Ireland under-19 star hit nine fours and two sixes and he has now passed 500 runs for the season.
Waringstown may ultimately not win the league this season, but it is a credit to Jonathan Bushe and his team they remain in contention with favourite s North Down, Instonians and Lisburn, all of whom strengthened their squads considerably over the winter.
The key now is to keep the foot on the pedal and try to finish as high as possible in the league, with eight matches still remaining.


WARINGSTOWN'S hopes of silverware this summer are almost certainly over after they were beaten by a strong North Down side in the TCH Challenge Cup semi-final at The Lawn on Saturday.
The villagers, who were always going to be underdogs, will reflect that their batsmen once again failed to score enough runs to make themselves competitive against the Comber outfit.
After winning the toss and batting first, Waringstown progressed to the relative comfort of 35 without. The critics will say that the openers were too slow, but at least they had seen off the threat of Peter Connell without losing a wicket.
However, they failed to build on that start, with first James Hall offering a return catch to slow bowler Marty Moreland and Lee Nelson was probably unlucky to be given out caught behind off Taimur Khan.
But with Kyle McCallan stumped as he fell over in his crease off Moreland and Tharaka Kottehewa run out by a distance attempting a risky single, Waringstown were suddenly in disarray.
Ian Morrison had fought valiantly, at least showing some aggression in a battling 30, but as wickets fell around him he was caught at slip off Connell.
At 54 for five Waringstown were in the deepest of holes. That they set any kind of a target was down to Jonathan Bushe, the captain, and Keith Morrison, with the sixth wicket pair adding 76 in a comfortable fashion.
They must have been wondering what all the earlier troubles were about with Bushe in particular timing the ball sweetly and North Down’s ground fielding became increasingly ragged.
When they reached 130 in the 43rd over, the villagers had serious aspirations of topping 180, but they missed opportunity of setting a testing target. First the excellent Morrison (28), attempting to improvise against Connell, succeeded only in lobbing a catch to mid-wicket and in the same over Simon Harrison was trapped lbw.
Bushe, who has never done justice to his considerable talents with the bat, compounded the agony with the first mistake in an otherwise courageous innings, attempting a se cond run that was never there and he was yards out of his ground as Shields took off the bails.
It had been a fine 48 from just 55 balls, including five fours, but he must have known that a final total of 155 was about 70 runs short of a par score. North Down will be delighted that they decided to fly Kiwi Connell in from his base in London, with the Ireland international claiming figures of three for 11 off 10 overs.
By now the only barrier to North Down and victory was the rain, and for the second time in eight days, it seemed that a torrential storm might yet scupper the visitors. There was a huge downpour shortly after Ryan Haire fell to Gary Kidd for five.
By the time play finally resumed North Down’s target was reduced to just 96 in 24 overs under Duckworth-Lewis Waringstown's bowlers had nothing to work with.
Overseas professionals Iain Robertson and Taimur Khan made it look easy with an unbeaten stand of 72 for the second wicket.
Beating North Down when they have two overseas stars with the standing of Robertson and Khan will never be easy, but Waringstown will reflect that they should have done better against a bowling attack that, Connell apart, is not as fearsome as it once was.


WARINGSTOWN recorded their sixth victory in nine Premier League matches with a comfortable triumph at Bangor on Saturday.
The villagers posted 183 for seven batting first, a fine total on a track that was never easy to bat on.
Waringstown owed much to a second successive half century from James Hall, with the Ireland international hitting 54 from 101 balls, including seven boundaries.
Kyle McCallan contributed 28 from 57 balls, while spinners Yasis Tillakaratne (2-24) and Ryan Adair (2-32) kept things tight for Bangor.
Bangor’s troubles this season are probably summed up by the damning statistics on the batting front. Mark Hutchinson and Yasis Tillakaratne are among the most consistent batsmen in the NCU, but they have received next to no support from the remainder of the order.
Hutchinson battled manfully against the odds, hitting fi ve fours in an highly impressive 52 from 107 balls, but once Tillakaratne holed out in the deep off Gary Kidd (3-45), Bangor resembled a beaten side.
Hutchinson was eventually eighth man out, confused by a slower ball from Tharaka Kottehewa (3-10), and Bangor were dismissed for just 102 in 38 overs, leaving Waringstown winners by 81 runs.



WARINGSTOWN produced arguably their best batting performance of the season on Sunday as they thrashed Premier League title contenders Instonians at Shaw's Bridge
One of the villagers' main problems in the last couple of seasons has been posting totals in excess of 200.
Too often they come up short in that regard, but there was no such difficulty on Sunday as some excellent batting saw them post a superb 239 for four batting first.
Crucially, they were given a sound start with openers James Hall and Ian Morrison adding 108 for the first wicket.
Hall was back to his best after a recent sticky patch. He was hitting the ball nicely from the start and he largely dominated that opening partnership with Morrison in more circumspect mood.
Waringstown, it has to said, were helped by some generous Instonians bowling, with the home side conceding 50 extras, including 33 wides which were well received by the villagers.
Hall eventually departed for 56, but he was unlucky, as he felt he got an inside edge which should have ruled out a successful appeal from Neil Hamilton.
Morrison (36) then added 32 with Kyle McCallan for the second wicket, before he was a leg before victim to Ireland all-rounder Andrew White.
The partnership that gave Waringstown the impetus to pass 200 was the 69-run stand between McCallan and captain Jonathan Bushe for the third wicket.
They scored at a healthy rate, with Bushe particularly aggressive in making 40 before he was dismissed by Eugene Moleon as he attempted to accelerate the scoring rate.
McCallan took up the mantle on Bushe's departure, as he reached a fine 53 before he was caught off the final delivery of the innings with Waringstown having posted 239 in 48 overs, with the innings reduced by two overs because of rain.
Instonians' target was initially increased to 245 under the Duckworth-Lewis system, but Waringstown were far from out of the woods yet, because Moleon's men boast a powerful batting line-up.
Divan van Wyk, their professional, has been in sensational form all season, and he and John Stevenson added 49 for the first wicket before the latter was an lbw victim for McCallan.
Gradually Inst started to fall behind the clock, and van Wyk's frustration saw him attempt a rash reverse sweep off Hall and he was given out lbw one run short of his half century.
With Rory McCann and James Shannon missing, Inst lacked depth and by now all that stood between Waringstown and probable victory was White, who is capable of winning matches on his own.
But after hitting successive boundaries off Simon Stokes, White was lbw next ball for 34, much to the delight of the Waringstown seamer who has worked hard to establish himself as a first eleven regular once again after being troubled by injury.
Stokes went on to claim excellent figures of four for 30, while Hall continued his wicket-taking exploits with four for 47 as Inst slumped to 162 all out. Simon Harrison was economical, conceding just 20 off his ten overs, while McCallan took one for 22 off seven as Waringstown won by 72 runs on Duckworth-Lewis.

Instonians v Waringstown


J Hall lbw Hamilton 56
I Morrison lbw White 36
K McCallan c Sheard b Moleon 53
J Bushe c Bunting b Moleon 40
K Morrison not out 4
Extras 50
Total (four wickets, 48 overs) 239

Fall: 1-108, 2-140, 3-209, 4-239

E Moleon 7-2-39-2, S Bunting 10-2-42-0, D van Wyk 7-1-31-0, J Gilmer 5-0-13-0, N Hamilton 4-0-25-1, A White 10-0-46-1, R Sheard 5-0-26-0

Instonians (target 235 in 43 overs)

J Stevenson lbw McCallan 14
D van Wyk lbw Hall 49
A White lbw Stokes 34
N Hamilton c Kottehewa b Hall 16
E Moleon c Bushe b Hall 4
A Dhareula c K Morrison b Stokes 4
C Kirk b Stokes 0
S Bunting b Stokes 0
D Graham b Hall 8
R Sheard b Kottehewa 4
J Gilmer not out 7
Extras 22
Total (41 overs) 162

Fall: 1-49, 2-97, 3-121, 4-130, 5-135, 6-135, 7-135, 8-144, 9-147, 10-162

T Kottehewa 7-1-28-1, S Harrison 10-1-20-0, K McCallan 7-1-22-1, J Hall 9-0-47-4, S Stokes 7-0-30-4, S Kidd 1-0-2-0

Waringstown won by 72 runs Duckworth-Lewis


WARINGSTOWN'S Challenge cup semi-final with North Down at The Lawn was ended prematurely last Saturday, after prolonged heavy rain stopped the match at its midway point.

North Down were certainly the favourites, having made 255 for six, largely thanks to a superb century from opening batsman Ryan Haire.
But a prolonged and heavy downpour while the teams took tea left much of the square and outfield underwater.
For a while, it seemed as if the teams may get back on, with Waringstown chasing a reduced target, but further rain caused the game to be officially abandoned before the 6pm cut-off time.
Haire will certainly be disappointed that his century won’t go down in the record books. The left-hander dominated much of his team’s innings. He was dropped at mid-off when he was just 14 and was caught behind off a no-ball by Tharaka Kottehewa a short time late r.
Those pieces of luck apart, Haire struck the ball beautifully as he brought up his century in 118 balls. He was eventually stumped off Kyle McCallan for 105 from 125 balls, including 13 fours and two sixes.
North Down were given further impetus as Jo Montgomery and Ralph Coetzee added 57 unbeaten runs for the seventh wicket. Montgomery made 36 not out from just 32 balls, while Coetzee, hit 30 from 24 balls.
Waringstown will have to improve on a shoddy fielding display when the teams meet again at The Lawn next Sunday. They will be boosted by the return of Ireland under-19 star Lee Nelson, who was unavailable on Saturday because of his commitments in the European Championships in Jersey





Waringstown beat CIYMS by 5 wickets to reach the Semi Final of the Challenge Cup

WARIINGSTOWN booked their place in the semi-finals of the TCH Challenge Cup after a comfortable five-wicket win at CIYMS on Saturday.
The victory owed a lot to Kyle McCallan, with the Ireland all-rounder taking four wickets with his off-spinners and later producing a batting masterclass.
After winning the toss and batting first CIYMS, missing the suspended Thinus Fourie, just never got going. Barry Cooper started brightly enough, with a flurry of boundaries, but when he was well caught at slip by James Hall off Tharaka Kottehewa for 15, CI began to struggle.
Derek Heasley and Neil Gelston couldn’t manage the big score they desperately needed, and it was left to Richard Lucas, who fought valiantly for 64 from 91 balls, including three sixes and three fours, to help them reach 159 all out in 47.5 overs.
McCallan was the star with the ball, claiming the crucial wicket of Heasley on his way to four for 26.
Kottehewa claimed two for 36, James Hall bowled tightly and Stuart Kidd helped polish off the tail with two for 12.
A Waringstown victory looked a foregone conclusion as Hall and Ian Morrison added 63 for the first wicket. Hall hit two fours and two si xes in his 28, while Morrison hit six fours in his 34 from 62 balls before he was yorked by Gelston.
With Lee Nelson bowled behind his legs by leg spinner Ryan Hanna for a duck, Waringstown might have wobbled but for a sublime McCallan knock.
Quite simply, he just about every delivery he faced off the middle of the bat. Ireland’s most capped cricketer struck four successive boundaries off leg-spinner Ryan Hanna and brought up his half-century with possibly the shot of the day, a glorious straight drive past Heasley’s outstretched hand.
In total he struck 10 fours and one perfectly executed six in a majestic 56.
He faced just 45 balls before he eventually holed out at mid-wicket looking for another maximum off Gelston (3-27). Waringstown were home and dry from the second ball of20the 33rd over with Keith Morrison (20 no) hitting the winning runs.
Waringstown are joined in the semi-final draw by North Down, Instonians and Lisburn. It will take place today (Thursday).


Waringstown beat Carrick by 3 runs at Middle Road, Carrick

WARINGSTOWN snatched victory from the jaws of defeat after a nerve-racking victory at Carrickfergus on Sunday.
The villagers were staring down the barrel for long periods of the home side's run chase, after they had posted 226 for nine batting first.
That total was at least 30 runs short of a par score on an excellent batting wicket and fast outfield at Middle Road, despite a brilliant 95 from Lee Nelson.
However, Waringstown did at least make a promising start with the ball. Simon Harrison had Michael Gilmour caught and bowled and then cruciallly he claimed the key scalp of Ireland's Paul Stirling, lbw for 15, at the ground where he made a magnificent 150 just eight days previously.
When Harrison (3-36) rounded off his spell by dismissing the dangerous Ross Gelderbloem cheaply, Carrickfergus were struggling on 53 for three and were in dire need of a big partnership.
That is exactly what they received from Andrew Cowden and Gavin Ewing, their overseas professional. The fourth wicket pairing added 130 runs in a superb, chanceless partnership and although Waringstown largely bowled well, they were up against it, having not posted the total they should have with the bat
However, the breakthrough eventually came when an excellent throw from the boundary from Nelson saw Ewing run out for 71.
Carrickfergus, who also should have beaten Waringstown last season before a similar collapse with the bat, started to panic. After a courageous 89, Cowden was stumped attempting a big hit off Gary Kidd and from requiring just 20 runs with five wickets remaining at around five runs per over, the match soon turned on its head.
Going into the final over Carrick still required eight runs for victory but when Matt Mangan hit the second ball from Gary Kidd to the boundary, the home side were again odds-on to win with just four needed from four balls.
However, Waringstown held their nerve with Mangan then caught on the boundary by Simon Harrison.
From the last ball, Carrickfergus required three for victory but Ricky Stirling could only hit the ball up into the air for James Hall to complete the catch.
It was a truly remarkable win for Waringstown, who will reflect that they still need to make bigger scores with the bat. After getting set, Hall again only made 28 and although Keith Morrison made 25, there wasn't enough support for Nelson who fell agonisingly short of a deserved century.

Waringstown beat CSN by 5 wickets

A STUNNING display of hitting from Keith Morrison helped Waringstown clinch a dramatic five-wicket victory over Civil Service North at Stormont on Monday night.
Morrison, who continues to enjoy a magnificent season with the bat, hit an unbeaten 31 from just 13 balls to help the villagers home with four balls to spare in a rearranged Twenty20 clash.
With five overs to go, Waringstown still required an unlikely 46 for victory after Kyle McCallan (42) and particularly Lee Nelson (32) struggled for fluency in the closing stages of their 72-run third wicket partnership.

The pair had come together with Waringstown struggling on 13 for two chasing Civil Service North's 127. Ian Morrison had been bowled second ball by Kieran Noema-Barnett as he aimed a big hit and then James Hall was beaten for pace as he tickled the same bowler through to wicketkeeper Rob Arthur.
McCallan and Nelson rebuilt the innings impressively but they had appeared to leave themselves too much to do as CSN kept back Nigel Jones and Regan West, in theory their best performers with the ball.
Nelson, visibly tired after his brilliant 95 the previous day against Carrickfergus, soon holed out against West and when McCallan followed straight after, Waringstown appeared to be deep in trouble.
But Morrison wasted no time in getting into stride, hitting two sixes, the first beautifully clipped off his legs off Jones and then one massive blow straight down the ground off West to turn the match on its head.
Waringstown required 25 from the last three overs but in truth it wasn't a problem and two boundaries from Simon Harrison rounded off a nerve-racking win, the second time in two days Waringstown have won in the final over.
Earlier, Nigel Jones hit two fours and two sixes in a fine 56 as Civil Service North posted what appeared to be a moderate 127 in their 20 overs.
There were also good contributions from Gareth McKee (24) and Stephen Dyer (25 no) but Waringstown spinners McCallan (1-22) and Gary Kidd (1-19) never let them score at the rate they needed to make the game safe.
Crucially, Waringstown bowled no wides and their fielding was excellent. That, along with a better team spirit, are the differences between their performances so far this season in comparison with 2008. They have now won four of their five league matches, although a sustained title challenge is unlikely with talisman McCallan sure to miss long periods of the season.


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