Millpark’s second string travelled to this cup match against Ards slightly short of numbers and a little low on expectation.
They boasted among their number two young men not yet in their teens and seven more experienced heads.
Batting first, Millpark were understandably tentative. Uncle and nephew openers Paul and Stevie McCart both got into the teens, out for 13 and 14 respectively.
At number three was Ryan McCart, son of Stevie. Unfortunately his stay at the wicket was shortlived, as he failed to score before he was bowled, giving Balfour his third wicket.
The Millpark player who looks to have developed most since last season is Robin Sinton. Aged just 15, Robin is tall and athletic, and is looking like he could develop into a fine cricketer. Batting at number four, he played fluently and responsibly from the off. Remarkably the senior partner in one of the innings’ most important partnerships, he and 12 year old Harry Lockhart provided mid innings stability, while moving the score along nicely.
Lockhart was out for a fantastic 17, which included two stylish 4s, bringing Johnny Breen to the wicket to join Sinton.
Although they rode their luck a little at the beginning, they steadily built the score. Sinton drove the ball beautifully as he went through to a finely crafted 48.
He was out in the last over just two short of what would have been a well deserved half century. Breen’s contribution was a not out 39 as Millpark finished on 151-6.
Young Sinton was soon back in the action, opening the bowling with the wind at his back. In tandem with old hand Stevie McCart (2-7), the opening bowlers sent back three of the first four batsmen. Finishing with a highly credible 1-25, Sinton had had a match to remember.
Even younger Harry Lockhart bowled with accuracy, control and skill that belied his tender years. He took the wicket of the dangerous Nihell for 26, and finished with 2-25.
The tail was wrapped up by Ryan (2-31), Paul (1-23) and Ian McCart (2-2).
The nine men had run out winners by a comprehensive 34 runs. It was a fantastic result against a very sporting Ards team that was a credit to all the Millpark players.