Academy reach last four of Junior Cup

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Records were broken as Academy eased past Donaghcloney and in to the semi-final of the Goldblatt McGuigan Junior Cup in County Armagh on Saturday.

Belfast Royal Academy rugby coaches from New Zealand, Andre Halbert and Mitchell Atkins, opened with a record first-wicket partnership of 177. It easily surpassed the previous record of 125, but this was overshadowed by the massive team total of 362 for 7, scored in 50 overs - the highest total ever recorded by an Academy 1st XI.

Halbert raced to his personal best of 148 off 137 balls, in a cavalier innings that included 21 fours and three sixes.

Atkins too was in fluent form, his 76 including 10 fours and two sixes, while significant contributions came from Rory Thompson 48 not-out off 22 balls, Mark Shields 28, Danny McFadden 25 and Stephen Fawcett 24.

Shields and Halbert also grafted a fine second-wicket partnership of 68.

In reply Donaghcloney were never able to match the required run-rate of more than seven an over, and they were soundly beaten by 185 runs, when restricted to 177, scored in 36.1 overs, with only G Knox (40) and P Derby (35) offering worthwhile resistance.

All-rounder, David Greenlees, was the most successful bowler with 4 for 41, with support from Darrell Martin 2 for 52, Atkins 2 for 15, Chris Halliday 1 for 26 and Halbert 1 for 1.

Academy, having won the Junior Cup four times in the past decade, now face North Down II in the semi-final on July 19 at Castle Grounds.

n More cricket news from across East Antrim: P 78 & 79.