Review of the NCU Section One weekend action
Woodvale laid down a massive marker for their Robinson Services League Section One promotion credentials with a convincing 104-run victory over Derriaghy at Queensway on Saturday.
Before the season began, Woodvale would have been considered among the favourites to secure a place in the Premier League considering the major re-signing of Stephen Bunting from Instonians during the winter, and it was the all-rounder that scored 56 to help his side post a total of 217-9.
There were also significant contributions from Wayne Horwood (30), overseas professional Dario Boyce (46) and Paul Robinson (42) before Derriaghy were reduced to 113 all out.
Daniel Poulton (32) top-scored for Derriaghy but he didn’t receive enough support to really put together much of a meaningful run chase with Lewis Adair (3-23) and Bunting (2-11) pick of the bowlers.
There was also a convincing victory for Armagh who eased past Ballymena by a margin of 113 runs on The Mall.
Batting first, overseas professional Rohit Karanjkar (72) was the driving force behind Armagh’s innings with the home side all out for 196 in the last over before they produced a brilliant bowling display to dismiss Ballymena for 83.
Harry Doyle (2-17) took a wicket with the very first ball of the innings and alongside Stuart Lester (2-18) had the visitors in all sorts of early trouble before the spin duo of Neil Gelston (3-14) and Michael Hoey (2-5) rounded the match off emphatically.
In a local derby, Holywood beat Bangor by five wickets at Upritchard Park with a fine bowling display reducing the hosts to 112 all out.
Thomas Anderson (3-14) was pick of the bowlers before 32 from Callum Walsh helped see Holywood home and to a third league win of the season.
Templepatrick also continued their impressive start to life back in Section One with an eight wicket victory over Downpatrick - their third from five games after being promoted last season.
Jordan Carlisle (4-33) did the majority of the damage to the Downpatrick batting order as they were dismissed for 133, with overseas professional Ari Smith (64*) and captain Ross Bryans (32*) ensuring The Cloughan side chased the total down with minimal fuss.
In what is an extremely tight and competitive league, Donacloney Mill beat Cregagh by five runs in a low-scoring thriller at the Factory Ground.
The home side were dismissed for just 84 with Adam Beattie (3-11), Graeme Hassard (3-18) and Danny Cooper (3-24) all putting in fine performances with the ball to set up what would have seemed a certain victory.
Donacloney had other ideas though and three wickets apiece from overseas professional Avdoot Dandekar (3-15) and Timmy McClure (3-15) helped bowl Cregagh out for 79 and continue their tough start to their league campaign.
They will be hoping to produce a better performance next Saturday when they will host CSNI in a rearranged Gallagher Challenge Cup quarter-final at Gibson Park.