Donaghcloney Cricket Club were delighted to host Victoria at the weekend for the first time in many years in a league competition.
The weather was perfect for cricket and there was sense of anticipation for the local derby.
Victoria won the toss and elected to bat. The Donaghcloney opening bowlers of Lecky and Stevenson were soon rewarded for their accurate bowling. Steven Lecky made the initial breakthrough when D. Reiman nicking one to keeper K. Martin with the 3rd over of the innings.
Lecky claimed 3 more quick wickets and Victoria were 4 down with only 9 runs on the board.
Jonny Stevenson was toiling away from the factory end, swinging the ball away from the right hander and past the outside edge on numerous occasions. His first 5 overs went for just 10 runs and kept the pressure on the Victoria batsmen. G. McClure, who was carrying a hamstring injury, dug in and refused to go down without a fight. He had fought his way to 33 when S. Hanna lured him into a false shot and C. McCrum took the simplest of catches. Hanna also took the wicket of S. Maxwell finishing with 2 for 17 and J. Stevenson wrapped up the innings by having ex Donaghcloney man S. Copeland caught at mid off by Alan Harland to finsh with figures of 2 for 16. S. Lecky, the star of the bowling attack, ended up with figures of 5 for 21 from his allotted 10 overs. Victoria were all out for 87.
This should have been a simple run chase with but Victoria were determined not to give up and showed great team spirit. A. Harland was first to fall and when he was bowled by Khan in the 3rd over for 3 and K. Dempster soon followed the same way for just 8. The in form J. Dowds was caught and bowled without scoring and all of a sudden Donaghcloney were 23-3 and looked under pressure.
With their tails up Khan and Ajmal continued to bowl well and C. MCrum and M. Lyttle were the next victims. Now Donaghcloney were 52-5 and the 36 runs required for victory seemed an uphill task.
S. Lecky, who has been in good for with the bat as well as the ball, was the next Cloney batsman to be sent back to the pavillion. He failed to trouble the scorers and Donaghcloney still needed 29 for victory with only 4 wickets left.
Mansing, who was still at the crease took control and showed what a class batsman he is. He punished anything too short or full and raced to his 50 with 8 boundaries including two huge sixes over long on. Fittingly Mansing guided the ball through extra cover for 4 to win the match and finish on 56 not out. The club would like to thank Sidney Alexander for his ball sponsorship this week.