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McClure hat-trick seals another convincing win for Firsts.

by Gary Knox on June 30th, 2010

Donaghcloney welcomed Larne to the Factory Ground for a mid-week two nighter on Tuesday and Wednesday. With skipper Keith Martin delayed Tim McClure, standing in, won the toss and was left with little option but to bat as many of the team struggled to make the start time.


Timmy McClure claimed a career first hat-trick for the club.

The enforced decision could easily have backfired as the playing surface had been under water due to the previous nights deluge and offered the Larne attack plenty of assistance. Openers Gary Knox and, the late arrival, Keith Martin did well to weather the early storm as they struggled with the rising ball, especially from the hostile McKinley.

Both players in fact took a few blows to the body, and Knox playing late at a rising delivery could only glove the ball onto his jaw. However, both players stood up manfully and saw off the opening attack.

Knox moved onto 23 before he fell caught behind in the 12th over with the score on 38. Neil Carson made his way to the crease and immediately looked comfortable with his second scoring shot being a steepling six into the bank at the River End.

The watchful Martin eventually departed in the 18th over for a painstaking 5 as he struggled to come to terms with the inconsistent bounce, leaving the Donaghcloney score at 61.

His replacement Phil Derby went cheaply with only a single to his name and when Carson departed for 20 with a mistimed drive caught at mid-wicket the Cloney lads feared a collapse. Stevie Lyttle was then dismissed for 13 to leave the home teams total at 83 for 5 in the 24th over.

Matt Lyttle and Stephen Hanna, in his fist game back from injury, set their stall out as the set about repairing the mid-innings wobble. The pair batted for the next 13 overs before Matt was out caught behind for a well crafted 20 for a 34 run partnership and the score on 117.

As often happens one wicket leads to another and again a mini collapse saw the dismissal of Hanna for a watchful 8, youngster and debutant Richard Lyttle 2 and Colin Derby, fresh from honeymooning, out for 2 leaving the Donaghcloney score at 127 for 9 in the 44th over.

For once the Cloney tail of Jonny Stevenson and Tim McClure wagged. With some lusty blows from both guys they brought the total to above the 150 mark. McClure was eventually out in the 50th over for 12 and Stevenson unbeaten on 14 saw them add a further 30 to the total, with the innings closing on 157.

On Wednesday night Stevenson and Matt Lyttle took the new ball, and the former immediately made the breakthrough as he removed Larne mainstay Alexander with only the 2nd ball of the innings.

Larne then somewhat run the show as with King in imperious form, moved swiftly to 50 in only the 6th over. Skipper Martin was then forced to make some changes and it was the wilily old man Hanna who removed King, caught by Martin, after he had bludgeoned a quick-fire 34.

With Larne having laid a solid foundation it looked that they may push on for the win. McClure who replaced Stevenson in the attack soon changed the whole complexion of the game. In his second over he completely turned the match on its head by claiming a superb first hat trick of his career.

Firstly he removed Lane skipper Gaw thanks to a fine running catch by Phil Derby, he followed this up by trapping Robert McKinley LBW and finished the feat with a great rising delivery forcing Trevor Dempsey to glove a catch to the gleeful Martin. Larne were now reduced to 61 for 5.

Knox was brought into the attack and in tandem with McClure applied pressure resulting in wickets apiece leaving Larne on 71 for 7. With Larne digging in, hat-trick hero McClure was replaced by Hanna after claiming a brilliant 4 for 16 in a 6 over burst.

Spinners Knox and Hanna eventually dismissed the remainder of the Larne line-up. Knox claimed economical figures of 3 for 4 just short of 7 overs, including a great slip catch by Carson, and Hanna claiming a further wicket to finish with 2 for 34. With Larne only mustering 93 with over half their overs remaining, Donaghcloney picked up another win by the margin of 64 runs.

Skipper Keith Martin was elated, ‘Timmy McClure put in one of the performance of the season and it is always special to be involved in the rarity of when a team mate claims a hat-trick’. He continued ‘we applied ourselves on the first evening on what was a difficult track and with the runs on the board we were confident we could keep the winning habit going’.

Man of the moment Tim quipped ‘that’s 6 from 7, we should be safe from relegation now!’, displaying his trait of being ever the optimist.

Donaghcloney Cricket Club would like to thank Philip Nesbitt for ball  sponsorship for the game.

From → Match Reports

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