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Junior Cup Final
Sunday 7th July 2019
North Down won the prestigious Junior Cup in 1894 and one would have thought, that with an illustrious Senior Cup history, a lot of Junior victories would have followed.
Not so. The First Golden Era produced wins in 1897, 1902 and 1904 and the Second Golden Era produced only one in 1926.
1981 was historic in that both Senior and Junior cups were won. 1986 saw Syd Elliott's side lift the trophy and again victory was secured in 2006 by Jo Montgomery's talented XI and most lately with Andy Haire's 2013 team.
Syd Elliott (1986) Andy Haire (2013) and Jack McMillan ( 1981) Above Jo Montgomery (2006)
2019, after a bye in the first round, saw a comfortable 8 wicket win against Waringstown 3rds, the Villagers being dismissed for a paltry 57 thanks to Peter Davison's 5 for 8, Billy Adams 2 for 13 and Vino Srinivasan's 2 for 7.
Josh Gilmore hit an unbeaten 25.
The 3rd Round victory against Lurgan 1sts at Pollock Park by 184 runs was as convincing as it was surprising. On a slow outfield and wicket North Down accumulated 210 for 9 with Hammy Coulter hitting 53, Nathan Burns 34 and Vino Srinivasan 30.
In reply Lurgan totalled a very disappointing 26 with 49 year old Billy Adams taking 5 for 1 and Peter Davison 4 for 23.
The following day the league match against Instonians was lost by a narrow margin and the injury to the skipper Peter Shields meant he played no part in the batting line up.
More importantly his summer holiday was rescheduled enabling him time to heal. Ironically and against the odds his rescheduling enabled him to play in the cup semi against Cooke Collegians.
With the team decimated with cry offs Shields relied on veterans and youth to seek an unlikely final in August.
Marty Moreland (4 for 65), Billy Adams (3 for 50) and 14 year old Daniel Corbett (2 for 28) were the wicket takers with Marty Dalzell and Tim Carson in support, but the late hard hitting from H Hussain (65) resulted in a big 264 target for the home side.
A 75 run partnership between Peter Shields and Andrew Macrory looked like recovering the early loss of 3 wickets but a Macrory pulled muscle left the side in a precarious position.
Shields continued to dominate the bowling and received great support from Tim Carson (25) and when he was bowled, super veteran Billy Dale. With little batting 'left in the tank' it was imperative that the skipper steered the side towards the finishing line.
This he did with an immaculate display of how to build an innings and take total control. He finished with an unbeaten 139.
The side will now play Muckamore 2nds in the Final in Wallace Park on the 10th August.