Vital win for firsts

The 1sts scored a vital 36 run league win in a tense game at home to Downpatrick on Saturday. Batting first, the home sides’ openers Stephen Johnston and Callum Grieve were both back in the pavilion with 32 runs on the board. A 62 run partnership between AV Dandekar and Stephen Chambers  looked like putting the town side back in charge. However, 3 wickets fell in quick succession to leave Lurgan struggling on 106 for 5. First to go was

Chambers, struggling with a back injury, caught behind for 13, followed by Dandekar who pulled a short ball straight into the hands of Smith for 45 and then Kris Lyness, caught by Martin off the bowling of Gilmore for 2. If Lurgan were to have any hope of securing a win then the middle order batsmen were going to have to conjure up some runs. Callum Gibson and Scott Wilson duly came to the rescue with Gibson scoring 38, including two sixes, and Wilson a valuable 20 to leave Lurgan on a very respectable 177 for 8 wkts in their 50 overs.

On a slow outfield, the town sides total was worth 20 to 30 runs more and they got off to the best possible start with Andrew Bingham trapping the big hitting Smyth LBW for 5 in the second over. Downpatrick were struggling to build an innings as the Lurgan bowlers were giving little away with the top of the visitors batting order dispatched to the pavilion with only 45 on the board. At 25 overs, Downpatrick were on 75 for 5 wkts with batsmen Mullen and Boultwood trying to play the visitors back into the game. Boultwood had already survived a dropped catch and a controversial ‘not out’ decision, where it seemed he had been caught at slip by Stephen Chambers, when he tried to hoist Callum Gibson back over his head only to be caught by Andrew Bingham for 29. Dale Mullen was starting to run out of partners and he was eventually the 9th wicket to fall with AV Dandekar claiming the last two Downpatrick wickets in his last over, as the visitors were bowled out for 141. Dandekar finished with the excellent figures of 5 for 19 in 9.5 overs while Andrew Bingham had 3 for 25 off 10. There were also economical spells from Callum Grieve 0 for 34 off 10 overs and Ollie McCollum 0 for 32 off 8, both unlucky not to have wickets having catches spilled off their bowling.

Lurgan travel to Cliftonville for a two night league game this Monday and Tuesday with  5.30pm start.