Second XI cricketers have title within grasp ahead of final fixture


Ballymena Second XI will go into their last game of the season against Carrick on Wednesday knowing that a win will see them crowned league winners.

After a strong and convincing performance on Saturday playing away to Woodvale, the Ballymena side will no doubt look forward to this end of season finale.

Knowing a win was vital on Saturday, Ballymena won the toss and decided to bowl first.

Opening the bowling, Owen Dick proved yet again that this young talent has a bright future in the NCU. In his first over he took 2 wickets in consecutive balls, bowling with good pace and accuracy.

Not to be left out, senior bowler Mathew Purse soon got into his stride, and on a difficult wicket proved a handful for any batsman that walked toward the crease.

Purse, who with a little coaching and conditioning over the winter months, could provide Ballymena with a long term replacement for club stalwart Michael Glass. He ended up with 4 wickets for only 22 runs.

Wickets started to tumble, as a weakened Woodvale side could not cope with the strength of bowling and fielding from the Ballymena side.

Probably the finest moment on the field occurred when young John Glass took a fantastic and well measured catch, actually jumping backwards to secure another wicket for his side. Woodvale capitulated, and only managed a total of 49.

Within 10 overs, the Ballymena batsmen reached their target with the loss of only one wicket. David Montgomery scored 13 before being given out LBW. Stephen Colgan continued his good form with 22 not out, being supported well by William Montgomery who scored 10 not out as Ballymena won by 9 wickets.

A greater challenge will certainly await the Ballymena side on Wednesday evening at Carrick, for a 20/20 showdown for the league and will be without Ricky McNeill due to injury.