Thompson brilliance is crucial to Waringstown away victory

Greg Thompson produced a blistering innings at Stormont on SaturdayGreg Thompson produced a blistering innings at Stormont on Saturday
Greg Thompson produced a blistering innings at Stormont on Saturday
Greg Thompson produced a wonderful display of hitting as Waringstown defeated Civil Service North at Stormont on Saturday.

On a groud where the villagers had lost in each of the last two seasons, the Premier League champions maintained their unbeaten league record with what turned out to be a comfortable victory.

Waringstown started positively enough after winning the toss and batting, but despite a fine half-century from James Hall they were struggling at 179 for five after 45 overs batting first.

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That was the signal for Thompson to cut loose. Shane Getkate (0-32 off three overs) was treated brutally and Graeme McCarter, the Ireland bowler, had no answer as Thompson mixed typically audacious sweeps with formidable brutality.

The unbeaten 75-run partnership with David Dawson came in less than eight overs, the latter a virtual bystander on 10. Those closing five overs yielded a match-winning 56 runs. Thompson struck eight fours and two sixes and from nowhere Waringstown had 235 to defend.

Fresh from their superb run-chase against CIYMS the night before in the Lagan Valley Steels Twenty20 Cup, CSNI started positively, 40 without loss after 10 overs hinted at their new-found confidence but thereafter openers Andrew Cowden and Dylan Agnew slowed up and only put pressure on those coming behind.

Just 21 came in the next 11 before Cowden was caught at mid-on off the impressive young seamer James Mitchell and Agnew aimed an ugly heave at Gary Kidd (2-14) and was bowled.

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Mitchell played a key role in slowing up the scoring while behind the stumps young Marcus McClean stood in superbly for Jonathan Bushe.

With the game in the balance, Jason van der Merwe charged down the pitch at Kidd just after drinks and McClean kept his composure to complete the stumping.

However, in the form of professional Mansoor Amjad, CSNI then launched a counter-attack.

The Pakistani was in glorious touch, hitting six boundaries in his 43 from just 44 balls.

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At 116 for three after 34 overs, and the Pakistani going well, it was an even game, but after Getkate was lbw to Lee Nelson (3-26), the wheels came off and how.

Mansoor went soon after, a fine edge through to McClean off Waringstown’s best bowler, Hall (4-38).

From 142 for four, CSNI lost their last six wickets for just 17. A game that had appeared to be on a knife-edge was over in the blink of an eye.

The previous night Waringstown kept their Twenty20 Cup hopes intact after a tense victory over Carrickfergus at The Lawn.

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Carrickfergus were restricted to 148-7 batting first with Cobus Pienaar taking 4-34 and James Mitchell bowling economically.

Waringstown seemed to be cruising in reply thanks to Nelson (49) and Pienaar (49), but following their dismissals, the home side rather lost their way.

They required 20 off the final two overs and nine off the last. However, Thompson, who else, kept his composure, and the game was complete by the third delivery.

Waringstown are scheduled to take on North West side Coleraine in the Ulster Cup first round at The Lawn on Saturday (1pm). The match ball sponsor is Ken Boyes.

They visit North Down on Sunday in a rearranged Premier League game at Comber. The game has an earlier starting time of 11am.