Weekend Review: 4th/5th July
Carrick lose ground in battle to beat the drop
Ballymena eased to a seven-wicket win over Carrickfergus at Middle Road on Saturday to register their second victory of the season, and leave winless Carrick marooned at the bottom of the Premier League table.
Carrick won the toss and batted first in overcast conditions, with the match, which was kindly sponsored by Alan Clarke Joinery, reduced to one of 47 overs because of a delayed start due to overnight rain. After losing two early wickets, Michael Gilmour and Jamie Holmes steadied the innings, and added 65 runs in a dozen overs, before Gilmour was run out going for a suicidal single when only one short of what would have been a deserved fifty. His 49 runs came off 52 balls, and contained six fours and a six. Indrajeet Kamtekar joined Holmes and this pair continued to score freely. Carrick were well placed at 185-3 with ten overs to go, but after the dismissals in consecutive overs of Holmes and Kamtekar slowed up the home side and they could manage only 231-9 at the end of their 47 overs, despite a breezy 20 from Alex Haggan. The prolific Holmes hit a superb 85 from 96 balls with six fours and three sixes, while Kamtekar had given him good support with 36.
Ballymena took advantage of some wayward Carrick bowling, and raced to 27 after just three overs. Carrick then managed to pull it back, and it was not until the 28th over that the hundred came up, for the loss of three wickets, including opener Michael Taylor for 43. Skipper James Kennedy had just joined Pakistani professional Azeem Ghumman at the wicket, and the chase began in earnest. They proceeded to share an unbeaten partnership of 139 in 18 overs, with Kennedy scoring 68 off 62 balls and Ghumman 92 off 108 balls, to guide their side to a vital win with an over to spare.
It was a thoroughly miserable day for Carrick as their 2nd XI surrendered their unbeaten league record to Ballymena’s second string at Eaton Park on Saturday.
With a number of key players missing much under strength Carrick side took the field and they gave themselves a chance by restricting the home side to 175 for 7 in their 40 overs. Alastair Burton was the pick of the Carrick bowlers, with an economical 2 for 19 in his 8 overs, with Richard Hood also taking two wickets.
Only Richard Hood with 28 and Russell Stockman who scored 29 made much impression for Carrick with the bat, as they were bowled out in the 35th over for 143, to give the Braidmen a 32 run victory.