Cricket: Larne Firsts fail to field team but Seconds see off Bangor

Eddie Hunter batting for Larne II. INLT 30-012-PSBEddie Hunter batting for Larne II. INLT 30-012-PSB
Eddie Hunter batting for Larne II. INLT 30-012-PSB
Larne Cricket Club remain rock-bottom of the Northern Cricket Union’s League Section 2 after they failed to field a team against Armagh on Saturday (June 27).

The Mall men were awarded a walkover after Larne informed them they could not muster the numbers to give them a game.

Larne’s withdrawal from the fixture was played out on social media on Friday, with Armagh tweeting: “Just been told that @Larne_CC 1sts cannot field a team tomorrow.”

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Larne’s response: “@NCU_News @ArmaghCC That would be correct.”

With the firsts left kicking their heels, it was over to the Seconds who have enjoyed a busy spell, recording one win and a defeat in their last two NCU Junior 8 outings.

On Sunday Larne took on Bangor in a re-arranged T20 match at Sandy Bay. Larne batted first and lost a wicket from the first ball.

But a second-wicket partnership of 120 between Eddie Hunter and Charlie Cloke, brought the home side back into it. Cloke continued his promising form with an assured 40, including two boundaries.

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The big-hitting Hunter then produced his first innings of substance this season. He batted well and finished on 95 not-out, hitting eight fours.

Hunter also managed to clear the boundary four times and achieved the almost impossible feat of causing a ball to be lost at Sandy Bay. His powerful strikes took Larne to an excellent total of 152-2 from just 20 overs.

Bangor were soon in trouble as Dempsey made two sharp stumpings off Larne’s opening bowlers, while Andy Steward was again the pick of the fielders.

Jack Mitchell’s leg-spin picked up two wickets to leave Bangor on 93-5 from 17 overs and seemingly out of the contest.

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Paul Houston, the visiting captain, launched a ferocious assault on the bowling in the 18th over. He struck the first four deliveries for six and threatened to bring his side an unexpected victory.

Houston’s efforts were cut short though in the following over when he effectively ran himself out (for an excellent 85) in an attempt to get back on strike. Jack Campbell and Hunter both picked up late wickets as the home side eventually triumphed by 24 runs.

A week earlier, Carrickfergus gained revenge for their recent league defeat to Larne, notching a five-wicket victory at a damp Middle Road.