Carrickfergus 1st XI made it four wins in a row, with a narrow victory over North Down at Middle Road in a rain effected match, taking them level with the Comber side in joint second place in the Premier League.
The visitors batted first on Saturday, and after Richard Hood had captured an early wicket, Nathan Burns and Alistair Shields consolidated the innings with a 91 run partnership in 25 overs. Alex Haggan finally got the breakthrough when he held a brilliant return catch off his own bowling to send Shields back to the pavilion. Shortly afterwards Jamie Holmes struck with the wicket of Burns who scored a solid 66, in his first over. Daniel Poulton took a couple of wickets, as South African professional Ruan Pretorius helped the score past the 200 mark in the 45th over. Poulton then dismissed his compatriot for 42, and took a further two wickets to earn himself a 5 wicket haul. The final wicket fell courtesy of a run out off the 5th ball of the final over, by which time the North Down total had advanced to 230.
After losing Iain Parkhill early on, Michael Gilmour played his customary free flowing innings, his 24 runs from 27 balls including 4 boundaries and a six proving vital in the later Duckworth Lewis calculation. Jack Burton and Jamie Holmes continued to score steadily, and with dark clouds looming continued to keep the score well ahead of the required rate. Frustratingly, rain forced the players off the field just two balls short of the 20 overs required to be bowled to achieve a result, with them 15 runs ahead on DLS. Thankfully they got back out, so there would be a result, but it was obvious that more rain was on the way. Carrick then lost the wicket of Holmes, which changed the calculation and put the game on a knife edge. A torrential downpour then ended the match halfway through the 23rd over with Carrick on 96 for3. Ball by ball DLS calculation revealed a par score of 95 in 23.3 overs, giving Carrick victory by the narrowest margin of one run.
The match was kindly sponsored by Mallusk Auto Centre.