Cricketers’ season comes to tame end

BALLYMENA First XI lost their rearranged Premier League against CIYMS by 8 wickets on Thursday evening.

Wednesday, 5th September 2012, 10:28 am
Rainey & Gregg are delighted to support cricket in the Ballymena area with the continued Sponsorship of Ballymena Cricket Club. Included are Ian Gregg (Rainey & Gregg) and Ballymena cricketers SImon McDowell (captain) and Stephen COlgan.

The outcome was hardly a surprise, for Ballymena were without Kaushik Aphale, James Kennedy, Michael Glass, William Montgomery and Gareth Fisher – all unavailable for a variety of reasons.

CIYMS, who are on the verge of clinching the league title, were at full strength and, in truth, their strong batting line-up was not really extended by Ballymena’s modest total of 108 in their 20 overs.

CIYMS won the toss and put the home side in to bat on a slow wicket. Runs were scarce early on until Ricky McNeill, making his senior debut, hit a couple of well-timed boundaries.

After he was out for 11, David Kennedy came to the wicket and played well against the very accurate CI attack. Helped by Steve Lazars (17) and Andy Kirkpatrick (12), Kennedy took the Ballymena score to 99 for 3 before he was bowled for 38, which included 2 huge sixes.

After his dismissal, a collapse saw the Eaton Park side’s innings fall away to 108 for 8 at the end of their 20 overs.

Against a weakened Ballymena attack, the CIYMS batsmen were able to accumulate without taking too many risks.

Robert McKinley did make a breakthrough when he bowled Chris Dougherty with the score on 30, but Barry Cooper and PJ Moor were able to get on top of the Ballymena attack and ease any CI nerves.

Moor was eventually caught and bowled by Lazars for 44, but CI were able to coast to victory by 8 wickets with nearly 2 overs to spare.

On Saturday Ballymena lost their last home league game of the season when already-relegated Carrick beat them by 7 wickets.

This was scheduled to be a normal 50-overs per side game, but, faced with an extremely wet outfield, both captains and umpires decided that a 20-over game would be a wiser option.

Ballymena won the toss and batted.

Once again, as demonstrated in the CIYMS game, Ballymena’s batting without Kaushik Aphale and James Kennedy has a fragile look.

Robert McKinley batted well throughout the 20 overs to finish on 49 not out, but the rest of the home side’s batsmen struggled to score quickly against an accurate Carrick bowling attack.

David Kennedy was just starting to look as if he was getting on top of the bowling when he was needlessly run out for 16. In the end, Ballymena finished their 20 overs on 95 for 6, which was probably 20 or 30 runs less than they had hoped for.

Once Carrick’s openers came to the crease, suddenly run-scoring began to look a much easier proposition.

Ballymena’s bowling had a real end-of-season look about it and a flurry of poor deliveries allowed Carrick’s New-Zealand-born opener Jamie Holmes to race to 40 in only 6 overs. He was then trapped LBW by Fergus Taylor, but by then the damage had been done.

And, even though McKinley and Jack Gibson each picked up a wicket, Carrick were able to coast to victory with more than 6 overs to spare.