Donaghcloney had a difficult double header at the weekend, away to unbeaten Muckamore on Friday and at home to promotion chasing Downpatrick on Saturday.
Two defeats mean that ‘Cloney are now firmly in the relegation area.
The game against highflying Muckamore could have been won, especially when the home side’s top five batsmen were dismissed for 43 in 17 overs.
But Gill, Keates and Allen all struck telling blows, and Muckamore were off the hook with 157-8. Mansing Nigade took 3-23 and Lewis McNamara 2-25. Gary Knox bowled seven overs for nine runs, with one wicket.
Bruce Topping and Mansing Nigade got ‘Cloney off to a reasonable start with 26 runs, before Nigade was caught and bowled by Kamtekar for nine. Topping followed at 34 for 16, but despite good knocks from Colin Hylands (24) and Robert Lyttle (21), wickets fell regularly and the innings closed at 119.
The margin was only 17 runs, due to a revised target of 136 under the Duckworth/Lewis method.
Batting first on Saturday, Downpatrick got off to a flying start, thanks to their talented skipper James Magowan. He raced to 82 in an hour and a half facing only 78 balls.
When he fell to McNamara with the score at 124 after 25 overs, Downpatrick must have been expecting over 300.
But the Donaghcloney bowlers stuck to their task, and helped by some excellent catches by Keith Martin, David Marshall and Shane Warren, the innings closed at 196 all out.
All seven bowlers used took a wicket, with David Marshall finishing with 3-38, and Steven Hanna 2-35.
Donaghcloney’s reply began badly, with Shane Warren and Colin Hylands out early. Neil Carson was unlucky to be caught on the fine leg boundary for eight.
Topping soon followed for 25, unlucky to be adjudged lbw. David Marshall was also lbw for 14.
Nigade was caught for 16 and despite some good shots from skipper Martin (13 not out), Mark Campbell and Tim McClure, the innings closed on 123 - a defeat by 73 runs.