Inst III’s through to semi-final

Instonians III progressed to the semi-finals of the Intermediate Cup with an impressive six wicket victory over an experienced Woodvale 2nd XI at Osborne Park on Saturday the 24th of June.

Regular readers won't need to be told about the toss - we were asked to bowl on a good grass track on the main Osborne Square with long boundaries and a lush outfield, more of which later.

Cameron Williams and Daniel Keane bowled well without success with the new ball; extras being the main scorer.  Sam McLarnon continued his recent parsimony with good support from left-armer Matthew Peak who hasn't quite decided which way he is going to swing the ball - what chance therefore the batsmen?    A strong wind straight up and down the pitch made it difficult for our young spinners but good second spells restricted Woodvale to 21 runs from the last five overs and a decent total of 172/5 in their 30 overs.

Graham Higgin and Jeff Wylie opened the batting for Instonians, ostensibly to shield the young guns from the opening bowlers.  That slightly
back-fired when Higgin was bowled by Stephen Donnelly's arm ball off the last ball of the first over.  Wylie and Jack Dickson the took the score to 31/1 after nine overs, Dickson demonstrating that the current Inst mathematics department still teaches boys to count to six with admirable accuracy. Wylie was caught athletically by the keeper for 17 to be replaced by Sam McLarnon who, with Dickson, took the score to 54/2 at drinks (15 overs). A change of umpire at drinks made life uncomfortable and breathless for the two young batsmen.  With Woodvale down to 10 players and some of the experienced hands flagging in the huge outfield it was a game that would be won by good running of singles and pushing hard for twos - as the 14 and 15 year olds were told after every over by the nagging stand-in skipper. Boundaries were hard to come by, even when Cameron joined the fray at 92/3 with 81 needed off the last ten overs.  Untypically, Williams only managed two fours and a six in his 42 as he acquainted himself with some different parts of the ground - turns out there are 360 degrees out there, not just the 45 that he normally uses.

When Cameron joined Dickson (33) in the pavilion, only twenty were required, quickly polished off by some exquisite timing by Adam Wylie (14no). Sam McLarnon remained not out on a really excellent 40 as we passed the target with two overs to spare.  The other good news is that he did so much
running that he will be much fitter when he goes to New Zealand this week on tour with the RBAI rugby team.

So a fine win and now we face Carrick seconds in the semi-final on 22 July. For now though, thoughts turn to the stuttering league campaign which shows only one win from five; we need to take some of the cup batting form intoour next few matches.