Carrick met Cliftonville at a windswept Mallusk on Sunday, and ran out as eight-wicket winners in a low-scoring NCU Section 1 match.
Carrick opted to put Cliftonville at the crease and initially their batsmen looked comfortable. But with Carrick’s spinners getting assistance from the wicket, wickets fell at regular intervals.
At 98 for 7 off 41 overs, heavy rain arrived and it was not until two hours later that play was resumed. Carrick picked up two further wickets to reduce the home team to 109 for 9, but a spirited last wicket stand between skipper Brian Anderson and Andy McCulloch then added a further 30 runs as Cliftonville were eventually all out for 139 in the 50th and final over.
Richard Hood and Stephen Grant took three wickets each for Carrick with Alex Haggan and Mikey Taiaroa collecting two apiece. Louis Delport, although wicketless, conceded only seven runs in an accurate ten over spell containing six maidens.
Carrick’s batsmen also found the going tough but Michael Gilmour and Gary Thompson managed to keep up with the required run-rate of just three an over before Thompson was bowled in the 13th.
Taiaroa joined Gilmour and the pair stayed together for 24 overs, batting sensibly and moving Carrick ever closer to their modest target. Their partnership of 68 runs was ended in the 37th over when Gilmour was caught behind only two runs short of what would have been a well- deserved 50. By this time Carrick needed just 34 runs from 13 overs, and Haggan and Taiaroa saw it through as they completed the victory with eight wickets and three overs to spare. Taiaroa who completed his second 50 of the weekend was unbeaten on 51 at the close, with Haggan not out on 17.
Cliftonville 139 (B Anderson 19no, S Grant 3-23, R Hood 3-27, M Taiaroa 2-27, A Haggan 2-46)
Carrickfergus 140/2 (M Gilmour 48, M Taiaroa 51no, A Haggan 17no)
Carrick won by eight wickets