12th August 2012
The 1st XI kept their title aspirations alive by beating title-contenders North Down at Shaw's Bridge on Saturday in a tense, hard-fought match which went to the 99th over.
North Down batted first and got a reasonable start with 34 for the first wicket. However, both openers fell in quick succession. A further wicket fell at 58 but a stand of 84 between Ryan Haire(52) and Peter Shields(38) threatened to allow them to set a competitive total. A mini collapse took the score tp 168-7wks but a hard-hitting 31no from Danny Graham lifted North Down to 194-7wks at the end of the innings. Best of the bowlers was Farooq Iqbal with 3-32, Andrew White with 2-34 and Zach Rushe with 2-39.
Instonians got off to the worst possible start, losing Rory McCann for a duck in the first over. However, a fine, composed stand between John Stevenson and James Shannon looked to have put Instonians into a good position. A careless runout saw the end of James Shannon for an excellent 58. North Down sensed a chance of getting back into the match, and bowled and fielded in a determined fashion with Ryan Haire bowling a fine containing spell of nine overs. John Stevenson fell lbw for 39, and thereafter the luck was with Instonians as several edges didn't go to hand and three difficult chances were spurned. With the asking rate going up Eugene Moleon eased nerves with two sixes before he too was caught. This brought Zach Rushe to the crease with 13 still required. As Instonians inched nearer he launched a high on-drive which cleared the rope and the fielder by only a couple of feet to clinch a hard-earned victory, thus keeping them well in the title race. Andrew White played his usual calm innings, finishing with 36no.