1sts retain Section 1 status

A clinical nine wicket win over Ballymena at Eaton Park saw Lurgan ensure they would be playing in the Ulster Bank Section 1 league next season.

In a re-arranged 20 over game, Ballymena were skittled out for just 44 runs in the 18th over with the home side’s batsmen being unable to score runs against Lurgans excellent slow bowling attack. However, paving the way for the Town’s bowlers was a superb piece of fielding from John Guy, as a direct hit from mid-off saw the dangerous James Kennedy run out for 5 with the score on 16. After that it was a virtual procession of Ballymena batsmen going back and forth to the pavilion. Peter Maxwell claimed 3 wickets for just 5 runs in just 2.3 overs while Paul Stafford took 3 for 9 runs off 4, Niranjan Godbole 2 for4 in 4 while Andrew Bingham conceded just 10 runs from his 4 overs.

The greatest threat to a Lurgan victory was from the weather as spots of rain fell throughout the visitor’s innings as the clouds closed in. However opener Stephen Johnston, ably supported by Derek Wilson, launched into the Ballymena bowling attack from the first over. And it was well he did as the home sides bowlers took an age to get through the 6.3 overs it took for Lurgan to pass the target set. Johnston was undefeated on 30 while the only wicket to fall was that of Derek Wilson, out for 10 with the score on 43. The deluge came just after the players left the field, but Lurgan didn’t mind as the win gives them an opportunity to plan ahead for Section 1 cricket in 2017.

The ball used by Lurgan for this game was kindly sponsored by Joan Sands.