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1st XI beat Holywood

Sunday 03rd September 2017

When you get a lovely sunny day, as Saturday was, there’s no better place to be than at the home of cricket in North Belfast, Woodvale Cricket Club.

Although the past few weeks have been a real challenge for the groundsman, the stadium looked a picture in the early September sunshine. Conditions may not have been ideal but, play started on time after Jamie had won the toss and inserted a strong looking Holywood side on a pitch he knew would only get as the day went on.

The visitors found it hard going early on and could only score at around two runs per over against the luckless Paul Robinson ( 2-12 off 10) and makeshift opener Lewis Adair, deputising for the injured Ferhan Saeed. The pitch was taking plenty of spin and between them Woodvales three spinners Adair, Burnside and Irwin jnr bowled 30 overs for 106 runs, a few of those being balls pitching on off stump and turning wide down the leg side.

It was Holywoods’ suicidal running that was to be their downfall with no fewer than 4 in the innings, although the expletives from Andrew Haire (34) echoing from the changing rooms would suggest he disagreed with run out decision from the square leg umpire.

The home side were set a total of 166 and although they lost a wicket to the first legal delivery of their innings, a battling 38 from Michael Irwin well supported by his bigger, ‘wee’ brother Mark (43), 24 from Ferhan Saeed and a cameo 23 from Robinson put Woodvale firmly in the driving seat. Late in the innings a couple of wickets for (too young to retire) Davy Kennedy sent a bit of a tremor through the home faithful, but the skipper and big Marty eased their fears and Woodvale completed a well deserved 5 wicket victory in 40.4 overs with the help of 21 wides.

N.B. Tucker Hills 2-45 meant he finished his season on 48 wickets a great effort from our tattood Star