In-form Second XI claim fourth victory inside eight days!

Ballymena Second XI captain Stephen Colgan (bottom left) and his team-mates pose for a 'selfie' at the end of a week in which they won four matches in eight days!
Ballymena Second XI captain Stephen Colgan (bottom left) and his team-mates pose for a 'selfie' at the end of a week in which they won four matches in eight days!

It was a memorable week for Ballymena Seconds who completed 4 games in eight days, winning all four!

To avoid a backlog of fixtures come the end of the season, Stephen Colgan gambled in organising two 20/20 fixtures, at home to Downpatrick, and then on Thursday away to Lurgan – a gamble which paid off and that now see his side at the halfway mark of the season with 5 wins out of 7 and second in the league.

Balymena continued their momentum of the previous week’s win against Derriaghy when they met Downpatrick, with opening bowlers Owen Dick and Matthew Purse bagging early wickets and they were well supported as Downpatrick were skittled for 89.

Jack Gibson top scored with 41 as Ballymena won comfortably by 6 wickets.

On a relatively flat wicket at Lurgan, Simon McDowell’s spin bowling was just what was needed and he took three wickets for just four runs, while Sam Glass had 3-29 as Ballymena restricted the home side to 111 runs.

As has been traditional this season, Ballymena made a slow start with the bat. losing three early wickets before Trevor McBurney upped the ante with a quick fire 21.

With the match still in the balance, young Ricky McNeill played without doubt his best innings yet for the Seconds, scoring an unbeaten 28 which included 3 fours and a massive six. He was well supported by David Montgomery who also played a vital role, hitting the winning runs, and scoring 18 not out as Ballymena won by 4 wickets.

Buoyant Ballymena carried on their good form on Saturday, beating leaders Carrick by 36 runs at Eaton Park.

Ballymena’s average-looking total of 176 included 22 from the in-form Ricky Mcneill, while Owen Dick socred an unbeaten 25.

A couple of early wickets for Dick enabled Ballymena to take control and Andrew Craig, who has had a great season so far bowled exceptionally well, taking 4 wickets for only 27 runs. With tight fielding, a moment of magic from Matthew Dick, and the final wicket falling in the 34th over, Ballymena completed another well deserved victory.