Relegation looms for struggling Donaghcloney

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Donaghcloney’s chance of surviving in Section 1 has all but disappeared after a disastous double header last weekend.

They needed to beat bottom team, Laurelvale, and Dundrum, who were also in the relegation zone, but failed to win either.

Against Laurelvale on Friday, ‘Cloney totalled 173 in the allotted 35 overs. Bruce Topping got his team off to a bright start with four smooth cover drives, before falling to a catch behind the wicket for 20.

Keith Martin was out shortly after, but Alan Harland and Mansing Nigade batted well in a stand of 87 before Harland was bowled for 42, with the score on 115. Nigade went on to make 57, while Matthew Lyttle hit 21 n.o..

A total of 173 was a good enough score to win. Laurelvale began brightly, with Phil Weir and Dave McAlinden putting on 40 for the first wicket. They lost their way a bit, and four wickets were down for 79.

This was a winning position for ‘Cloney, which they failed to take, probably due to the lack of an extra bowler. Craig Irwin (31) and Laurelvale stalwart and captain, Davy Sinton were instrumental in seeing their team home in the last over. Steve Hanna was the best bowler with 2-21 in his seven overs

On Saturday, ‘Cloney travelled to Dundrum to be greeted by a professional in top form. Rahi Kakade smashed 70 runs off the first 12 overs, out of 84 scored. His opening partner Alan Tormey made 23, before Andrew Symington (70) and Joel Maguire (63) came together in a stand of 140. ‘Cloney did well to take all 10 wickets, but the final score was 295.

This was a difficult enough chase, further compounded by two breaks for rain, which brought the dubious Duckworth/ Lewis method into play, leaving ‘Cloney a revised target of 224 in 32 overs. Bruce Topping (35) and Keith Martin (13) got ‘Cloney off to a good start, but when they were dismissed only Mansing Nigade (44) and Shane Warren (16) made any impression, and the innings closed on 144.