First XI suffer fifth consecutive league defeat

A second successive innings of 60-plus runs from William Montgomery wasn't enough to prevent a fifth straight league defeat for Ballymena against Lurgan.
A second successive innings of 60-plus runs from William Montgomery wasn't enough to prevent a fifth straight league defeat for Ballymena against Lurgan.

Ballymena First XI lost their fifth consecutive Section 1 league fixture when Lurgan defeated them by six wickets on Saturday.

A minutes silence was observed at the start of the game to reflect on the recent passing of club stalwart John Caldwell.

His contribution to cricket in the NCU area was immense and he will be sorely missed by all.

Ballymena captain Michael Glass won the toss and batted on a decent looking pitch.

The young opening pair of James McClean and John Glass got off to a fine start before John was caught out for 19 with the score on 37.

This brought William Montgomery to the crease and he followed up a fine 60 last week with a well-constructed 69. He was backed up by James McClean who batted maturely for his 27 and James Kennedy who was not his fluent self and struggled to reach 19 against some tight spin bowling.

A late well timed flurry of runs from Fergus Taylor who was run out for 29 and Matthew Dick who struck two sixes in his aggressive 25 allowed the away team to post a decent total of 214.

Ballymena’s bowling attack have struggled off late to get early wickets and put opposition batsmen under pressure and this trend continued again with Lurgan loseing only four wickets in their successful chase. Their professional N. Godbole scored a chanceless 94 not out allowing a confortable win with six overs remaining.

No Ballymena bowler found a penetrative spell of bowling and far too many “four balls” were delivered to allow pressure to build up.