MILLPARK travelled to the Mall in Armagh on Saturday hoping to complete the league double over their opponents.
As in the first match back in early May it was a close encounter but, as it was to turn out, the Tullylish men came out second best.
As was to be expected after the recent poor weather the wicket was as slow a strip as Millpark will encounter this year. The outfield was also slow and so conditions were not conducive to high scoring.
Accordingly, the Millpark innings began slowly. In the 12 overs before opener Davy Glover was first man out, just 22 runs were scored. After 20 overs the scoring rate had not improved, and only 40 runs were on the board, and Darrell Martin was also back in the pavilion.
The innings then began to gather some momentum, as opener Charlie McCrum (69), and partners Keith Dempster (24) and Stevie Leckey (32) steadied the ship. These three batsmen accounted for over 80% of the runs scored off the bat, as the innings closed on a respectable 174-8.
Unfortunately the tail did not wag at all, and this cost Millpark the chance to push for what would have been a more competitive score of 200.
The Armagh response started extremely well, the openers taking the score to 62 before Stevie McCart took the first wicket. The second wicket fell the very next ball, leaving McCart on a hat trick. The Armagh score moved on to 95 before the next wicket fell.
Batsmen five and six then quickly followed before home team had reached three figures, and it was very much game on - opener Stevie Leckey coming back well in his second spell to account for both men.
Armagh however then asserted their authority, and although Stevie McCart returned to take the only other wicket to fall, Armagh number seven Lester’s 45 n.o. was the innings that brought his team home with a comfortable four overs to spare.
Millpark should take heart from the fact that they lost to a good team who are currently top of the league.
It is some years since the Tullylish men carried an unbeaten league record into the second half of July and this should encourage them as they enter a busy time as they attempt to catch up on the backlog of fixtures.