Ballymena Cricket Club First XI were defeated by nine wickets on Saturday by Waringstown in the opening round of the Challenge Cup.
Ballymena went to The Lawn facing a mammoth task of facing probably the strongest side in the NCU at the present.
Michael Glass, the local captain, was delighted to win the toss and bat on an excellent wicket. James McClean started the innings with a hard fought 21 which showed great promise for a sixteen year old.
At the other end wickets tumbled with Jack Gibson out LBW to the new Warringstown professional Pienaar. William Montgomery and James Kennedy both fell cheaply to the spin of James Hall. This brought John Glass, also sixteen, to the crease to accompany James.
Unfortunately three quick wickets then fell leaving Matthew Dick and Alan Dundas to try and rescue some form of respectability to the total which sat at 46 for 6. Matthew batted with determination and aggression to score a fine 29 including a well struck six off Lee Nelson. He was supported by Alan Dundas who battled his way to 18 before being bowled. With a late flurry of fours from Glass the total reached 111 befors Sam Glass batting at 11 was caught in the 45th over.
In reply James Hall got off to a flying start with a quick fire 38 before he was caught and bowled by the veteran Ballymena Captain.
Matthew Purse bowled an excellent spell of 9.3 overs nought for 42 with should have brought him at least two wickets due to the accuracy of his spell. Waringstown bettered the low target score in the 19th over.
Ballymena are next at home on Saturday against Woodvale after a very disappointing beginning to their Section 1 campaign which has brought them two away defeats so far.
Stephen Colgan’s Second XI were unable to build on their Junior Cup win of the previous week as they went down to a 170-run defeat at the hands of their Waringstown counterparts.
The good start to the season continued for the 4th XI with a comfortable league win over an under-strength Donaghadee Seconds side.
Despite losing the toss and being asked to field, the home side soon made in-roads with Calum Crease bowling the opposing skipper for a duck from the fifth ball of the match. The two young opening bowlers, Crease and Sam Henry kept things tight with a second wicket falling to Crease in the fifth over.
The introduction of slow bowling saw wickets fall at a steady rate with Harry Cook and Paul Campbell taking a wicket each and Mark McIlhagga picking up two leaving the visitors all out for only 41.
Chasing only 42 to win, the home side were never in trouble with McIlhagga playing a sensible innings to finish 15 not out, ably supported by Nichol, and youngsters Spence and Henry.