Tuesday 4th June 2013

Saturdays’ Premier League match against Waringstown at The Green had been dubbed ‘match of the day’ but unfortunately it turned out to be a relatively one-sided affair, and not in the home side’s favour.

Expecting the pitch to potentially break up a bit later in the day skipper Ryan Haire decided to take first use when he won the toss but a series of poor shots, allied to some disciplined bowling from the Villagers, saw the locals slump to 71 for 6.

Only a spirited unbeaten 83 from Nick Larkin, his first ‘fifty’ for the club which included 7 fours and 1 six, saw a vaguely respectable 171 posted but it was below par.

North Down briefly had the visitors on the ropes when they removed Hall and Nelson in quick succession and when McCallan departed in Gavin McKenna's first over all eyes turned to Obus Pienaar in the visitors ranks. The South African ‘A’ international didn’t disappoint as his unbeaten 91 saw Waringstown home with more than 20 overs to spare.

 Sunday’s game against CSNI took on added importance and it was a far from vintage North Down display with the bat once again, as they somewhat limped to 221, thanks mainly to a 58 run stand for the seventh wicket between Peter Eakin (32) and Tim Ley (59no), and 37 extras!

The bowlers however were determined not to let the weekend go by with two defeats and along with a convincing performance in the field, snatched victory from the jaws of defeat in the closing stages.

When Eakin removed the dangerours Jones ‘North’ were 50 for 3 but a stand of 120 between overseas man Nieuwoudt  and former Ireland U19 player Van der Merwe seemed to have taken the game beyond the hosts.

But as can happen a couple of rash shots later, panic set in and with the North Down attack at its most disciplined best, the run rate began to climb and the new batsmen had no answer, as the last seven wickets fell for just 32 runs leaving a relieved home side with 4 points in the bag and 3 wins from 4 in the league.

Photos courtesy of CricketEurope

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