1sts CLINCH PROMOTION
The 1stXI clinched promotion to Section 1 of the Robinson Services Section 1 with a 4 wicket win over Cooke Collegians at sunny Pollock Park on Saturday in a tough nail-biting encounter.
Fielding first, opening left arm bowler Adam Johnson struck in the first over of the game having Gibbons caught behind for a duck. Both Johnson and Jack Maxwell were proving difficult to score off and it was Maxwell who claimed the next wicket having Humphreys caught behind with Scott Wilson taking the first of two superb catches, a diving one-handed catch low to his right with the total on 7. A third wicket partnership of 40 eased the visitors back into the game, but the next 5 wickets fell for just 37 runs and the home side looked in command with Cooke Collegians on 85 for 7 wickets with 24 overs gone. However, a stubborn 8th wicket partnership of 58 between Ayub and Singh again pulled Cooke Collegians back into the match before Callum Gibson had Singh going for one big shot too many with Stephen Chambers taking the catch. Gibson and Jack Maxwell mopped up the last two wickets to dismiss the visitors for 158 in the 37th over. Callum Gibson was the top wicket taker for Lurgan, taking 3 for 42 off 8, Peter Maxwell took 2 crucial middle order wickets for just 22 runs off 8, Jack Maxwell had 2 for 26 off 6.5, Peter Hutchinson also had 2 for 26 off 5 while Adam Johnson conceded just 24 runs in his 7 overs for the first wicket of the innings.
Lurgan’s reply got off to a bad start with skipper Jack Harrison playing on from Kerr in the first over without scoring. Cooke Collegians opening attack off Kerr and Ahmed beat the bat on a number of occasions and it was Kerr who put an end to a promising start by Jack Maxwell, the Lurgan player edging to keeper Wilmot for 15 with the score on 22. Stephen Chambers (5) and Stephen Johnston (10) followed soon after and the home side looked on the rails at 34 for 4 in the 11th over. Derek Wilson joined Callum Gibson in the middle and after a cautious start both players started to put bat to ball and when the 20 over break came, the pair had taken the score to 71 for 3 wkts. A further 20 runs were added when Gibson played onto his stumps with the town side still needing 68 runs to win. Jack Hutchinson joined Wilson and the pair put on another 41 runs before Wilson mis-timed an off drive from the bowling of Kerr for a critical 37 with the total on 132. Peter Hutchinson joined his brother in the middle with still 27 runs needed and immediately took the attack to the bowlers. Some excellent shots and ambitious running soon had the target within sight and it was in the 39th over that Peter Hutchinson hit the winning 2 runs to send the 1sts into Section 1. It was a resolute batting performance by the town’s middle order quartet of Wilson (37), Gibson (26), Jack Hutchinson (21no) and Peter Hutchinson (14no) and the 1sts go into their last game of the season next Saturday away to BISC knowing that a win will make them Section 2 champions.
For photos of Saturday’s game go to Maynard Collins Photography at