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Carrick back to winning form

Carrickfergus 1st XI, who had not won since early May, returned to form on Saturday with their best performance of the season ensuring an emphatic 7 wicket victory over Civil Service North at Middle Road.

The visitors won the toss, and decided to bat first in overcast conditions, and their experienced opening pair, Wayne Horwood and James Kennedy, made steady progress, taking 67 runs off 21 overs, before Alex Haggan achieved the initial breakthrough, when he had Kennedy caught behind for 27. Horwood followed soon afterwards, and three further wickets fell as the score passed the hundred mark in the 31st over. Aaron Wright batted well for CSNI but he was running out of partners fast as four further wickets fell to reduce them to 145 with the last pair at the wicket. Alan Blain stayed with Wright as he passed his fifty and the pair had added 37 runs when the innings came to a close at the end of their allotted 50 overs, when the score had progressed to 182 for 9. Ashwin Shetty and Alex Haggan were Carrick’s most successful bowlers with 3 wickets each, while skipper Pat Botha conceded a miserly 16 runs in his 10 overs, in what was a much better effort by Carrick’s bowlers and in the field where Gilmour and Botha took excellent catches.

Persistent drizzle during the tea interval delayed a resumption of play, and when the sun eventually came out, Carrick had lost 8 overs, and were given a revised DLS target of 170 in 42 overs. Openers Michael Gilmour and Iain Parkhill got the reply off to a good start, taking 41 runs off 9 overs, with Gilmour hitting five boundaries before he was caught for 29. Jack Burton then joined Parkhill at the wicket, and the pair went on to share a match winning partnership of 107 runs in the space of only 20 overs to take their side to within sight of victory. Both Carrick batsmen completed excellent fifties before both were dismissed on either side of the 150 mark. First Parkhill who has been in good form this season, was stumped for 52, which included three fours and two sixes. Then 18 Year old Burton, having just completed his maiden Premier League fifty, was caught for 53, with four fours and a six. Jamie Holmes and Pat Botha saw Carrick home with almost nine overs to spare, with Botha finishing things with two huge sixes and a four, to give his side a much needed and long overdue victory.

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