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Some positives despite defeat

Tuesday 15th May 2018

Woodvales, below par, 1st XI headed to Downpatrick with little prospect of victory. Essential pawns were missing from the team in the shape of the Irwin brothers, Both taking the opportunity for a holiday on what was thought to be a 'closed weekend' to competitive cricket because of the Test match in Dublin. Unusually only the Saturday was closed?

Downpatricks' ground staff had done a great job of preparing the ground and the pitch looked superb.... Jamie called wrong on the toss and Ross Boultwood unsurprisingly inserted his under strength opposition.
Connelly and A. Robinson had a steady start and ground out a partnership of 17 on a pitch playing slow and low, before the latter became the first of Yeates's 3 victims. It was Connelly who proved to be the backbone of the innings with a real gutsy 53.

He had some support from the middle order but too few willing to grind it out leaving Woodvale probably 20-30 runs short of what could have been a winning total. 136/8 off their 50 overs.

So over to the bowlers and on a tricky pitch even the Big hitting Ryan Smyth found scoring runs would be a patient game, with only 2 boundaries between them in the 64 run opening partnership with Dale Mullan.
Paul Robinson (3-20), is not one to give up though and it was 2 wickets in his 6th over that gave the visitors a ray of hope. With the home side reduced to 81-4 in the 30th over a sniff of a Woodvale victory was very professionally snubbed out by Aussie import M Acocks his 43 not out seeing his side home in the 48th over.

Some positives can be taken from this defeat though with the return to form for Cookie after a difficult time last season and the unquestionable pace of JJ Strydom who will be a real handful once the pitches become dryer and quicker.