Millpark on the verge of promotion
MILLPARK Firsts travelled to Ballyclare to take on Templepatrick in the league knowing that with three games left two wins would secure promotion to Section One.
With usual captain Martin away it was Vice Captain David Wilton who stepped into the breach.
Templepatrick won the toss and decided to bowl. Millpark started brightly with Glover looking calm and assured at the crease. Steven McCart was first to go to a LBW decision.
Ray Menoun (16) batted sensibly and provided support for Glover (35) before Menoun was bowled. This brought player coach Kidd to the crease who again looked assured, launching a huge six straight down the ground before he too was to depart for an LBW although he seemed to hit the ball first.
Captain Wilton was next in and unfortunately quickly departed, adjudged caught behind when the ball seemed to hit his pad. Glover then quickly followed, being caught in the covers for a well constructed 35.
This left Leckey and Maxwell at the crease with Millpark teetering on 99-5 but the next six wickets were not to fall easily with partnerships being building by with Maxwell, Woods (11) and Simpson (13 not out) all contributing to get Millpark up to a total of 152
With a few showers during the tea break play was delayed for half an hour which meant with any further showers run rate could come into deciding the winner of the game.
It was Leckey and Glover to take the new ball for the locals; Leckey struck with the very first ball of the innings, trapping NCU underage representative Hunter LBW.
He then struck again soon after to bowl the next man in; Glover not to be out done soon struck with two of his own wickets. Leckey was then replaced by Stuart Kidd who himself picked up a wicket but with the Templepatrick captain in defiant mood and the weather closing in things weren’t looking promising for Millpark and with some catches going down nerves were starting to show.
But Jason Maxwell removed the Templepatrick captain to a LBW decision, this time in Millpark's favour and David Maxwell pulled off a stunning catch to remove Beattie just as he was beginning to find the boundary after being dropped.
This was to prove the last telling contribution from Templepatrick as Millpark were able to see the match out for the win with Steven McCart finishing with three Templepatrick scalps to his name.
Millpark now need to beat Cregagh next Saturday to confirm promotion to Section One.
Millpark Seconds took on Armagh Seconds in a top of the table clash which was also Millpark's final game of the season.
With captain Maxwell winning the toss and deciding to bat it was up to Stuart McCart and Jordan Willis to get the innings off to a good start but with Willis (6) and Woods (2) both being removed quickly.
Kris Fletcher, playing his first game of the season, provided Millpark with the stability needed and McCart with support as they steadily builded a total for the Millpark bowlers to bowl at with the final assault being led first by McCart (82) and Fletcher (47).
Then captain Jason Maxwell weighed in with a quickfire 20 not out before McCart was caught going for another six, leaving Maxwell and Simpson (2 n.o.) to close the innings on 186-4 from the allotted 45 overs.
The Millpark fight back with the ball was to be led by Victor Willis who removed the Armagh opener Hoey quickly for LBW and captain Maxwell who bowled economically but without wickets.
Stuart McCart then replaced Willis and Woods replaced Maxwell. Woods was to strike first and strike twice to send two batsmen packing just as they were starting to look set McCart also struck to remove the Armagh captain.
But as wickets were tumbling runs were also being scored and it was to be the next partnership for Armagh which was to prove decisive as Hamilton (51 n.o.) was to be dropped three times and would bat through the remainder of the innings to win Armagh the match but not before David Maxwell was to make things interesting, weighing in with another wicket.
But it was not to be as veteran Armagh man Reggie Stinson was to club the first delivery of the last over of the match for four to give the visitors the win.
It has been a great season for Millpark Seconds with somewhat limited resources all the players have chipped in during the season to pull off some great results with all the hard work securing Millpark a top four finish.