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Weekend Review: 20th / 21st August

Carrick beat Premier League leaders Waringstown

Another superb all round performance by third placed Carrickfergus saw them beat Ulster Bank Premier League leaders Waringstown by 3 wickets in the top of the table clash at Middle Road on Saturday.

With overcast conditions, and rain promised for later in the day, Carrick skipper on winning the toss, asked the visitors to bat first. Accurate opening spells from Michael Armstrong and Anthony Martin saw them struggling at 63 for 3 after 18 overs. However, a fine 100 run partnership in the space of 21 between captain Lee Nelson and South African professional Cobus Pienaar revived their fortunes, setting their side up for a big score. After Alex Haggan had Pienaar caught at mid off for 58, in-form Greg Thompson and Nelson continued to score freely, adding a further 49 runs in 7 overs, before Thompson became the first of 4 victims for the Premier Leagues leading wicket taker Ryan Eagleson. When Nelson was the last wicket to fall, for a fine 77, off penultimate ball of their 50 overs, the Waringstown total had climbed to 258 for 8.

The Carrick reply could hardly have got off to a worse start with openers Parkhill and Gilmour both gone in the first two overs. Schoolboy Jack Burton and Jamie Holmes steadied things for their side, adding 56 runs in 15 overs with two interruptions for rain. After the second of these, the game was reduced to 35 overs, and Carrick’s revised DLS target score was 215. Shortly after the resumption Carrick lost Burton lbw for a very promising 30 and Holmes, brilliantly caught at cover for 28. By this time, the various delays and the loss of these two wickets saw Carrick fall well behind the required run rate. This situation was not to last long, as Carrick’s South African professional Pat Botha launched a single handed assault on the Waringstown bowling. Botha hammered 90 runs from only 49 balls, with three 6’s and ten 4’s. Botha’s brilliant innings set up Carrick for a famous victory, but he could not get them over the line, as they still required 36 runs from 4.3 overs when he skied one and was caught by a grateful keeper McClean. Ashwin Shetty and Michael Armstrong were now at the wicket with the game in the balance. But the pair continued where Botha had left off, as a series of boundaries saw Carrick home with 8 balls to spare. This was Carrick’s first ever win over Waringstown at Middle Road, and their first victory against them since 2004, yet another highlight in a memorable season for Carrick.

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