Three wins in a busy week for Fourth XI
Ballymena Fourth XI enjoyed a profitable week which saw them record three victories.
The week began with a match against Armagh III on Monday night, where Armagh’s Peter Hazelton did the damage displaying some impressive hitting on all sides of the wicket. The Ballymena bowlers, however, retained their composure and when Adam Pogue finally bowled Hazelton for 89, the Armagh innings slowed over the final two overs leaving the visitors with a total of 145 for the loss of only 3 wickets.
The Ballymena response started at an impressive rate with openers Andy Lytle and Matthew Dick scoring at around 10 runs an over for the opening overs.
When the openers fell for 41 and 37 runs respectively, a Ballymena victory seemed assured. Despite losing two further wickets cheaply, some big hitting from Jeff Martin, followed by some clean hitting by Josh Scott meant that the target was reached with almost four overs remaining.
Thursday evening saw a second match in five days against Cregagh III, this time in the league.
Ballymena lost Andy Lytle early, but the subsequent partnership of John Glass and Jeff Martin laid the foundation for a competitive score.
When Glass fell for 32, Martin went on to hit the ball increasingly well, and finished the innings unbeaten on 70, setting the visitors a target of 150 to win.
Cregagh started to score rapidly, but some good bowling by Josh Scott and Jack Archer, ably supported by Sam Glass, meant the visitors were increasingly behind the required rate.
Some controlled bowling of the final overs by John Glass and Adam Pogue saw Cregagh end up 24 runs short.
With Saturday’s opponents Downpatrick Thirds unable to field a team, the Ballymena side were awarded the points, to leave them sitting second in NCU Junior League 7.