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Title challenge falters

Monday 07th August 2017

Title hopes take a knock in thriller

A superb Captains knock of 84 from Jamie Gibson wasn’t to be enough to clinch victory over Armagh at The Mall in the top of the table fixture.

Armagh had elected to bat on the damp pitch with rain forecast for later in the afternoon and expectations were high when Ferhan Saeed (3-27) grabbed early wickets. The main threat to Woodvales hopes came from the lofty J. Barnes, so when Timmy Browne (2-28) had him well held in the deep by Tucker H...ill for 44 a low target was on the agenda. Armaghs’ Sammy Wilson had other ideas though and his patient 54, well supported by McCarter (24*) took the score from 97 for 7 to 167 for 8. Mark Irwin was called on in the dying overs and collected himself 3 wickets for 10 off 1.5 overs as the home side posted a respectable 180.

Still, with less than 4 an over required and the pitch now dry, the stage was set for a ‘run of the mill chase’, but as those who follow Woodvale know nothing is ever as simple as it sounds. Some excellent new ball bowling from Barnes and young Ben Mackey quickly reduced Woodvale to 28-4 and all thoughts of the Premier League seemed a pipe dream, Enter the skipper, Gibson, to offer support to the ever dependable Mark Irwin in an attempt to recover the situation. With the help of a few ‘no balls’ and ‘free hits’ the pair instilled hope of an unlikely victory from the jaws of defeat, but when Irwin (46, swears he hit it) was adjudged LBW to a yorker in Barnes penultimate over the 121 run partnership was ended.

All Gibson needed now was a little support from the remaining batsmen but alas it was not to come. Indeed take away their two knocks and the whole of the rest of the batting line up managed a mere 19 runs between them. With 4 required and 2.3 overs remaining Jamie attempted to loft the ball over mid off only to see the catch pouched and Armagh go 2 wins clear at the top of section one.

It was a fantastic days cricket and although Jamie was gutted his innings breathed life in to a dead match and will hopefully act as a springboard for him for the rest of the season, Phew! What a day.

The seconds won at Ballygomartin, but worryingly the third XI had to forfeit their game for the second time this season due to unavailability and a third time will see them thrown out of the league. It can’t be stressed enough how important it is that ALL registered members make themselves available

Link below for copy of scorecards