Carrickfergus defied the odds by beating holders and hot favourites Waringstown by 46 runs, to lift the trophy for the second time in their history at Middle Road on Bank Holiday Monday.
Carrick captain Jack Burton won the toss, and had no hesitation in batting first. Opening the innings with younger brother Max, the Carrick skipper was the first to go, bowled for 16 in the third over. Harry Warke joined Max at the wicket, and he pair scored freely, bringing up the fifty in the 7th over. They added 58 runs in 7 overs before Max Burton was bowled for a fine 37 from only 31 balls including five boundaries and a six. Sam Osborne fell soon afterwards to reduce Carrick to 81 for 3 after 12 overs. Kyle Hutton was next in and he and Warke added a further 59 runs during the course of the next 7 overs to put their side in a strong position. Warke, who scored a stylish 42, was caught at cover just before the end, having provided the backbone of the Carrick innings. Hutton went the same way in the 20th and final over, having contributed an invaluable 31 runs off only 23 deliveries, with the Carrick total by this time having reached a very respectable 153 for 5.
Morgan Topping and Jonny Waite, who had scored a century apiece in the previous two rounds, opened the innings for the visitors, and it looked ominous for Carrick when they took 32 runs off the first 4 overs. Skipper Jack Burton then brought himself into the attack, and with his second delivery he got the vital breakthrough, when he had big hitting Waite caught in the deep by Ben Buchanan-Rolleston for 20. Jack Carson and Topping took it along to 61 after 10 overs, when Adam Crook got the second wicket when he had the second of Waringtown’s “big three” batsmen, Irish Under 17 international Topping, again caught by Ben Buchanan-Rolleston at long-off. A lot now rested on the shoulders of Ireland Under 15 star Carson, and with the introduction of leg spinner Harry Warke and accurate medium pacer Ben Crook into the attack, backed up by some enthusiastic fielding, he was finding it difficult to score more than singles. The run rate was increasing by the over, and soon Carson was losing partners at regular intervals as Warke and Crook removed their middle order. The game was effectively over as a contest long before the end by which time Waringstown had reached 107 for 8. Harry Warke contributed a match winning all round performance for his side, adding 4 wickets to his runs earlier in the day, with Ben Crook giving him good support with 2 wickets.
Carrick skipper Jack Burton collected the cup from NCU President Peter McMorran after the match, to bring the prestigious trophy back to Carrick for the first time since 2003. The club would like to thank Millen’s Centra of Prince Andrew Way for their generous sponsorship of their successful Under 17 side.