Survival battle looms for Ballymena

AFTER losing to Carrick on Saturday in the NCU Premier League, Ballymena' senior cricket team are now well and truly in a relegation battle.

James Kennedy won the toss for only the second time this season and decided to bat first, hoping that his strong batting line-up would be able to bat the home side 'out of the match'.

After a few overs however it looked to be the wrong decision as both Robert (4) and David Kennedy (1) found themselves back in the changing room with the score only on 7.

Opener Carl Williams and overseas player Kausik Aphale then mounted an excellent recovery putting on 60 for the third wicket.

When Williams holed out, captain, James Kennedy continued the recovery and at drinks Ballymena where extremely well placed on 110 for 3 and would have been looking to push on for a score in excess of 250.

A few overs later and things were no longer looking as rosy for the Ballymena side as they lost their next 3 wickets for only 10 runs. James Kennedy (21) played an unnecessarily rash shot and was caught in the deep, Aphale (39) followed shortly after to a loose shot and then Gareth Fisher was adjudged LBW without troubling the scorers.

Michael Glass found the boundary a few times and managed to get Ballymena up to a total of 170, one that was approximately 80 runs short of where it should have been.

Ballymena have always had a great fighting spirit and there was quite obviously a gritty determination about their bowling and fielding which bodes extremely well for the remainder of the season.

Michael Glass and Matthew Purse both produced excellent hostile opening spells which led to Carricks' opening batsman 'playing and missing', and on another day both bowlers might have taken a handful of wickets each.

Purse eventually did get the breakthrough with a nasty delivery which took the shoulder of Cowden's bat and went through to the wicketkeeper.

Gilmore, who had been given one life, was dismissed by Aphale but unfortunately that was as good as it got for Ballymena. New Zealander, Tiarora (77) and South African Gelderbloom (42) put on 110 runs together to take Carrick over the finishing line in the 45th over.

Ballymena have a double header this weekend. On Friday they are at home to CIYMS starting at 2.30pm and on Saturday a must win relegation battle away to Downpatrick starting at midday.


R Kennedy b Gelderbloom4

C Williams c Eagleson b Martin27

D Kennedy c Eagleson b G'bloom1

K Aphale c Tiarora b Kearonghan39

J Kennedy c Haggan b O'Shea21

A Kirkpatrick c Tiarora b O'Shea13

G Fisher LBW b O'Shea 0

M Glass c Tiarora b Gelderbloom 25

F Taylor c Buchannon b Eagleson 6

S McDowell c Clurkin b Eagleson 3

M Purse not out 0

Extras 30

Total (48.2 overs)170

Bowling: R Eagleson 9.2-3-23-2; R Gelderbloom 10-1-29-3; A Cowden 5-1-21-0; A Martin 4-0-22-0; D O'Shea 10-3-24-3; M Kearonghan 10-1-41-1.


M Gilmore LBW b Aphale 39

A Cowden c Kirkpatrick b Purse 4

M Tiarora not out 77

R Gelderbloom not out 42

Extras 7

Total (2, wickets, 45 overs) 171

Bowling: M Glass 10-2-33-0; M Purse 8-0-22-1; K Aphale 10-1-36-1; S McDowell 7.5-0-23-0; C Williams 6—35-0; F Taylor 2-0-20-0.