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Carrickfergus CC off to winning start

Carrickfergus Cricket Club 1st XI got their Premier League campaign off to a perfect start on Saturday, with an excellent victory over defending champions Waringstown.

The home side won the toss and asked Carrick to bat first, and new skipper Michael Gilmour and opening partner Iain Parkhill responded by sharing in an 81 run partnership to set a platform for a competitive total. They batted together for 25 overs, until just after the drinks interval, Parkhill who had been content to play a support role to Gilmour who was in fine form, was stumped in an attempt to push the score along. Gilmour completed his fifty, as he and Jack Burton took the score past the hundred mark in the 30thover. Three overs later, Gilmour was caught for 67, which included five boundaries and a six. Burton shared in useful partnerships with Pat Botha, and Daniel Poulton, which saw the total push towards the 200 mark. They reached that milestone in the 49thover, when Burton was dismissed for a valuable 47 runs, which held the second half of the Carrick innings together. At the end of their 50 overs, Carrick had posted a very useful total of 209 for 5.

In Waringtown’s reply, opener Adam Dennison was run out by Botha, going for a suicidal single in the 4thover. Matthew McCord, on his Carrick debut, then struck with the wickets of James Hall, James McCollum and Lee Nelson in quick succession. Bowling a full length and getting the ball to swing, he trapped all of the Irish international trio lbw, to leave the home side reeling at 30 for 4 after 12 overs. However, South African professional Shaheen Khan and captain Greg Thompson then led a recovery which saw 83 runs added during the course of the next 17 overs, before play was interrupted for nearly an hour by a hail shower, with the home side just ahead on DLS. When play was able to resume, the revised target became 200 in 46 overs. Thompson and Khan continued to score freely, with both batsmen completing their fifties as the total passed 150 in the 35thover. Ryan Eagleson then struck two vital blows. First he had Khan lbw for 53, to break the 121 run fifth wicket partnership. Two overs later, he bowled Thompson for 63. This left Waringstown still needing 38 runs off 7 overs, but with two new batsmen at the crease. Eagleson then claimed the fifth lbw of the innings when he dismissed his former international colleague Kyle McCallan. Tidy spells towards the end by Botha and Poulton put the home side further and further behind the required run rate, and in the end they only reached 184 for 9 to give Carrick victory by a 16 run margin.

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