A crucial half-century last-wicket stand between Waqas Mohammad and David Greenlees cemented Academy’s Senior League Section 2 pole position.
With nine down and only 112 runs on the board, Matthew Palmer’s lads had a tenuous hold on that cherished number-one spot, until their tenth wicket pair added another precious 53 runs to post 165 in 36.1 overs.
Even so, that was an attainable target at Castle Grounds, but the bowlers came to the rescue when they restricted Victoria to only 115 in 33.2 overs.
Chris Halliday led the way with an impressive haul of 3 for 9, with support from Greenlees 2 for 15, Mohammad 2 for 23, Mitchell Atkins 1 for 30 and Andre Halbert 1 for 40.
Greenlees hit five fours in his top score of 43, while Mohammad finished on an undefeated 23, and other significant contributions were made by Atkins 20, Halbert 15 and Mark Shields 13.
“It was a very disappointing batting display,” confided club secretary Jack Quinn. “We were all out in the 37th over, leaving 13 unused, and only that last-wicket stand saved us from what would have been an embarrassing defeat by the bottom of the table Lurgan lads.
“However the win moved us four points clear of Armagh at the top of the table approaching the halfway stage of the season,” he added.
Adam Sloan’s 3rd XI are also flying high in Junior League Section 6, where they hold a four points advantage over CIYMS IV and Derriaghy III.
Teenager Connor Boyd was their star performer against Victoria II, scoring an undefeated 68 in his side’s impressive total of 240 for 6 in their 35 overs at Roughfort, where
David Reid with 54 and Andrew Craig-Jackson 41 also provided strong batting support.
In reply, Victoria II were skittled for a paltry 44 in 20 overs, against some fine bowling by Michael Wilson 3 for 15, Andrew Palmer 2 for 10, Niall Greenlees 2 for 9 and Andy Bell 1 for 7, while Craig-Jackson was responsible for the run-out.
“Including cup matches we have won seven of our eight outings to date,” enthused skipper Sloan. “In the league five wins out of six leaves us four points clear at the top,” he added.
Saturday, 1st XI v Armagh, away; 3rd XI v Carrickfergus III, away; 4th XI v Templepatrick III, home; Sunday, 1st XI v Drumaness, home.