Donaghcloney return to winning ways at Larne
Donaghcloney win by 69 runs
DONAGHCLONEY'S First XI travelled to Larne to try and return to winning ways after the recent loss to local derby rivals Millpark.
Larne won the toss and decided to bowl first on what was a difficult slow green looking track.
It did not take long before Donaghcloney lost their first wicket as Gary Knox chipped one to square leg in only the second over as he was dismissed for four. This brought in form Neil Carson to the crease to pair up with Stephen Hanna.
The pair built steadily with both men having a couple of scares along the way before Hanna was dismissed for 18 and the score approaching 50. Allen Martin came to the crease and although there was superb understanding running between the stumps he fell for eight with 80 on the board.
Colin Martin returning to the team was next up and between himself and Carson the pair provided the best partnership of the innings. Both players asserted themselves on the home bowling attack with some lusty blows from any wayward deliveries. While they rotated the strike with ease during their stand, as they brought the score to 146 before Martin was adjudged LBW for a commanding 32.
As so often happens one wicket brings two and soon after Colin’s departure Carson fell to a mistimed pull shot, agonisingly two short of what would have been a superb half century. Carson dismissed for an imperious 48 on what was a difficult track.
With two new faces, David Marshall and skipper Keith Martin, at the crease Larne tried to force the initiative and were rewarded as Marshall holed out cheaply to point. Colin Hylands entered the fray and along with his skipper they repaired some of the damage. With Keith finding gaps for ones and twos Hylands struck the ball with power as the pair brought the tally to over 190.
Hylands departed LBW for a hard hitting 20 while the skipper Keith Martin had a personal tally of 18 when he succumbed to the home attack.
Young Peter Moates held firm as he saw Jonny Stevenson dismissed to be joined by Tim McClure. Between the three final batsmen the score passed the 200 mark coming to a close at 209-9 after the allotted 50 overs.
Donaghcloney returned after the tea break with confidence high. They knew that it was a difficult track and with the runs on the board a daunting task awaited the Larne batting line-up.
Jonny Stevenson and David Marshall shared the new ball duties and immediately were drawing false shots from the home team. Stevenson in particular had Alexander in all sorts of trouble before eventually dismissing him with a catch at second slip by Colin Martin.
Marshall soon collected the 2nd wicket of the innings rearranging the openers furniture to leave Larne in some difficulty at 26-2. The Cloney’s position was further improved as a misunderstanding saw a Larne man run out after Colin Hylands powered in a throw over the stumps.
Larne started to rebuild as they upped their scoring rate. Skipper Keith Martin then called on spinners Knox and Hanna to try and stifle the opposition accumulation. With the run rate reduced Tim McClure replaced Hanna to bowl in tandem with Knox.
It was Knox who benefitted as he claimed the next three wickets to fall as he finished with the tidy figures of 3-16 from his 10 overs. McClure was unfortunate as he did not claim any rewards that his bowling deserved as he bowled 10 tight overs, including seeing a dropped catch, as Larne had moved to 100-6.
With Cloney in a commanding position they got a bit sloppy as five catches went down in a short period of time, including two of three balls from David Marshall deliveries. Larne slowly moved there total upwards before Hanna returned to the attack and saw a catch held by Colin Martin to leave the home team all but defeated at 120-7.
Colin Martin himself then called upon to bowl his off breaks and immediately made a breakthrough, while Hanna’s second wicket left Larne on the brink. Their innings was finally brought to a close on 140 for a 69 run win for the village team.
Keith Martin was delighted with the victory. He said, "Today we really applied ourselves and for once we batted for the full 50 overs on a difficult track. I was confident when we had the runs on the board that our bowlers had the ability to give us a victory, and get us back into the winning habit after our slip up against Millpark."