Donaghcloney travelled to the Mall to face Armagh in the 2nd round of the Junior Cup having received a bye in the first round.
It was a day made for cricket and Keith Martin won the toss and elected to bat on what looked like a reasonable track.
The two left handers S. Hanna and P. Derby saw off the new ball well and the score was on 49 when Derby was brilliantly run out with a direct hit from extra cover trying to sneak a quick signal. That brought A. Harland to the crease who has struggled with form so far this season. Unfortuneately it wasn’t going to be his day again and both he and Hanna fell in quick succession with Donaghcloney on 53-3 in the 12th over. The biggest partnership of the innings was to follow as M. Lyttle and J. Dowds putting on 69 for the 4th wicket before Lyttle was given leg before to a straight full toss from A. Walbran. J. Dowds, who was drafted in from the Seconds to replace the pro Mansing Nigade who was ineligible to play in the Junior Cup due to NCU regulations. Dowds took his opportunity well and played very fluently for his 29 before being caught behind of the bowling of H. Boyd. The star of the Donaghcloney innings was S. Lecky who came in at number six and dominated the bowling from the start. He had 6 boundaries in total and not afraid to go the ariel route he was on 53 when he perished caught and bowled to H. Boyd’s tidy off spin. He was aided by skipper K. Martin in a partnership of 50 who nudged a snappy 17 before advancing down the track to H. Boyd and was stumped a yard out of his crease. The innings finished on 206 for 9 in the 50 overs with H. Boyd figures of 4-37 of his 10.
Armagh then set about chasing the 4 an over they required to win the match. Skipper M. Villiers looked in great touch and was quick to pounce on anything too full or too short. He in fact scored 64 of his 75 in boundaries making all the Donaghcloney bowling look ordinary at times. However, at the other end no one had the same control or composure as Villiers. Wickets kept falling with no one other than C. Russel who scored 11 getting into double figures. S. Lecky picked up with the ball where he had left off with the bat. In an opening spell of 2-10 in 5 overs. J. Stevenson bowled well in tandem with Lecky and was getting the ball to swing away from the right handers. He beat the bat on many occasions but failed to find the edge. His opening spell of 18-0 of 5 overs meant the pressure was fully on Armagh. Wickets continued to fall with Tim McClure knocking over Russel’s middle stump just as he was starting to look dangerous. Both he and Hanna shared the middle order wickets with McClure taking a spectacular one handed caught and bowled to dismiss wicketkeeper G. McCartier. Lecky and Stevenson was brought back into the attack and took the last 4 wickets in just 19 balls. Lecky dismissed danger man Villiers, caught by J. Dowds at deep extra cover and M. Wright in consecutive balls. He finished up with figures of 4-23 in 10 overs and J. Stevenson had 2-36 in 9.3 overs. M. Villiers made it look easy all afternoon and had he had any support things may have been very different. As it was Armagh were all out 135 with Donaghcloney winning by 70 runs.