After last week’s magnificent away league victory at Newforge, Millpark returned to Banford Green to face the stern test of Section 2 side Larne in the 2nd round of the prestigious Junior Cup.
Millpark won the cup in 1999 and it is a competition the club are always keen to perform well in.
Once again skipper Paul McCart lost the toss but on this occasion his side were inserted to bat on a slow pitch.
This slowness was to be Stu McCart’s undoing, as he drove to the point fielder early on to a ball that stuck in the pitch.
Jason Maxwell, in fine form, was next at the crease but his form deserted him as he left a straight one and was cleaned up.
However, Davy Glover and Ben Talbot consolidated the innings and at drinks Millpark were well set at 76-2.
Unfortunately the drinks break brought a break in concentration with Talbot the first to go adjudged LBW for a well-constructed 34.
Last week’s hero Ryan McCart, who scored 90 not out at Newforge, succumbed to the same fate as Maxwell leaving a straight delivery. 92-4 quickly became 110-6 with the departure of Reilly without scoring and Glover for 37 runs in 34 overs.
But as the saying goes cometh the hour, cometh the man, That man was Adeel Tahir making his home 1st XI debut.
Batting at 8, he took the attack to Larne dispatching the ball to all parts of the picturesque ground.
Ably supported by David Maxwell, the pair put on 60 before Tahir was caught out agonisingly one run short of his half century.
Skipper McCart arrived at the crease and had clearly caught the Tahir six bug as he found the Banbridge Road with his first ever six in over 20 years of cricket.
Millpark finished their innings on 202-9, which before Tahir had arrived at the crease looked an unlikely total.
After another superb tea, Jason Maxwell and Richard McCann opened up with the new cherry but faced a batsman in a mood for revenge.
Keenan, who had been on the receiving end of Tahir’s onslaught, despatched both opening bowlers for gigantic 6s losing both balls in the process.
The introduction of Glover stemmed the flow of runs and Stu McCart removed the dangerous Keenan with a glorious swinging yorker, for 38. T Dempsey batted sensibly seeing off both Glover and McCart.
With Skipper McCart forced to keep wicket he couldn’t turn to his own effective off spin and instead gave his leggie Ryan McCart a bowl and although expensive he picked up a wicket.
However, while Dempsey was still at the crease Larne were still very much in the game and it was the reintroduction of Jason Maxwell, which finally ended his resistance.
He and brother David then finished off the tail, to leave Millpark victorious by 54 runs.
Another fine win for the Banford Green men, who return to league action at the weekend, with a home double header against title challengers, Donaghadee and Ards.
Finally the club are always on the look out for new players regardless of ability.
Nets are on Tuesday’s and Thursday’s from 6pm onwards; you will be made very welcome.