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Firsts record vital victory over Cooke Collegians

by Gary Knox on August 2nd, 2010
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Had a superb game with 45runs, 3 catches and a vital wicket against Cooke Collegians

Donaghcloney hosted Cooke Collegians in a vital game on Saturday past. The opponents are at the top of the table along with Donaghcloney and Millpark in the race for the two promotion spots.

Donaghcloney batted first with captain Keith Martin and Lyness Topping striding out to the middle. The pair batted confidently as they aimed to see of the opening bowlers, until Martin was out caught at square leg for 14 with the total on 35 in the 13th over.

In form Neil Carson joined Topping and the pair immediately showed a good understanding. They rotated the strike superbly as they picked up singles and twos with excellent running between the wickets.

With 100 on the board the partnership of 65 was finally broke with Topping caught for a delightful 45, in the 29th over. His replacement Gary Knox did not last long as he was trapped LBW for 3 two overs later.

This wobble brought fears of another notorious ‘Cloney collapse’ and they seemed to be justified as David Marshall was caught for 4, Steven Lyttle bowled for 2, and Stephen Hanna dismissed for 2 leaving the village team teetering at  128 for 6 in the 39th over.

Second’s vice-skipper Richie Clydesdale brought some calm to the proceedings as he help up an end and rotated the strike to enable Carson to first claim his 50 then up the scoring rate. Clydesdale was dismissed in the 45th over with the ship steadied for a very important 8, with the total now at 155.

Colin Hylands was next up, and he witnessed the dismissal in the next over of Carson for a splendid knock of 75 with the total on 163. Jonny Stevenson came and went for 4 and Hylands with 9 not out and Tim McClure with 1 not out ensured Donaghcloney batted the allotted 50 overs for a respectable 179 for 9.

Stevenson and Marshall took the new ball, but in reply Cooke Collegians did not hold back as they went for it from the off. Especially their opener Kidd who struck the ball fiercely and also seemed to be finding gaps at ease.

With 34 on the board after only 9 overs Martin brought Gary Knox into the attack, for a change of pace. They were rewarded immediately, as he picked up a wicket with his first delivery a catch to Topping in the cover area. Although it was soon apparent that this was only a blip in the Cooke Collegians charge.

The visitors coasted past 50 and had moved the score onto 77 before Hanna claimed his first wicket in the 17th over, and Marshall returning to the attack claimed an LBW decision to leave Cooke Collegians now on 86 for 3. However the free-scoring Kidd was still in situ and he was now joined by experienced skipper Richard Johnson.

The pair immediately upped the impetus again easily passing the 100 mark and surpassing the required run rate. Hanna again made the impact desired as he removed Kidd for a fluent 62 caught at square leg by Topping, and two balls later had removed the next man up caught behind by Keith Martin to leave the score at 133 for 5 in the 28th over.

With the game in the balance Martin made one of his most inspired decisions of the season. He asked one of his batting heroes Topping to bowl for the first time this season after a somewhat premonition the previous night. ‘What was his lottery numbers?’, as Topping with only his second ball removed Johnson for 34 caught and bowled, leaving the visitors at 141 for 6 in the 33rd over.

With the visitors starting to show some nerves Cloney exploited the situation. Hanna picked up his fourth wicket thanks to a superb juggling catch by Knox at square leg, and with Stevenson returning and securing a wicket in the next over thanks to a Clydesdale catch the Cloney were now in the driving seat with the score on 157 for 8.

By the 43rd over the game was over as Stevenson got a second wicket clean bowling a tail ender and Tim McClure picking up the final wicket with another Knox catch to close the innings on 163 for a 16 run winning margin.

Keith Martin was elated with his teams fighting spirit ‘at one stage it looked over but we really dug in and held on to some important catches to ensure victory was ours and give us some breathing space over our opponents in the league’. He continued ‘Lyness Topping really come to the fore today, he had an excellent game with 45 crucial runs, 3 good catches and a decisive wicket to really turn the game in our favour’. Keith finished with ‘special mention must again go to Carsy for a great knock, while Hanna with 4 for 25 from his 10 over spell got wickets at vital times, and just the team as a whole for not accepting defeat even when it was looking bleak at one stage’.

From → Match Reports

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