MILLPARK have been making a habit of securing narrow wins this season.
However, their run came to an end way to Templepatrick on Saturday.
The game was relocated to Ballyclare High School after The Cloughan was ruled dangerous by the umpires. Both teams showed a positive attitude and did their utmost to ensure the match was played.
Batting first, Templepatrick were in trouble straight away at 15-2 after six overs. The wickets should have continued to tumble, particularly that of Bobby Smith. He should have been run out twice and caught out, but Millpark failed to take their opportunities. It was to cost them dear as Smith got his eye in and accumulated 59 by the time he was fifth man out.
Millpark then ran through the rest of the Templepatrick team, dismissing them for 131. However, they were left to rue what might have been had Smith been dismissed earlier.
Millpark had bowled well. Darrell Martin received scant reward, especially from his fantastic opening spell. He finished with 1-25 from seven overs, but with a little more luck he could have taken five wickets. Steven Leckey also bowled well, recording figures of 1-25 from his 10 overs.
Stu McCart continued his good form, taking an excellent three wickets, but he lacked control, giving up almost five runs per over. The star bowling performance came from Davy Glover.
His first two overs went for a total of 18 runs, but he regained control as just 11 more were scored from his next five. More importantly he accounted for five of the Templepatrick batsmen, including the dangerous Smith.
While the Templepatrick total was not a daunting one it was competitive considering the large boundaries and long grass in the outfield.
Millpark resumed chasing a total reduced by Duckworth Lewis to 127 off 45 overs. They were coasting at 70-2 off 27 overs, and still in control at 82-3 off 29. The key men had been Charlie McCrum (39) and Ben Talbot (24). Of the remaining batsmen, unfortunately only Stu McCart was to make any impact. Steven Leckey, who as usual has been one of Millpark’s main men this season fell for a duck, while Darrell Martin and Ryan McCart managed just four runs between them.
Millpark were struggling by now, but should still have been able to get over the line. When push came to shove, though, they were found wanting.
An experienced tail including Johnny Breen, Jason Maxwell and John Simpson should have been able to see their side home, but fell an agonising seven runs short.
This was another Millpark performance with plenty of positives, but in a tight league it was inevitable that sooner or later they would eventually come off second best.