Dramatic final over sees Academy tie with Drumaness

Cricket
Cricket

There was a nail-biting finish to the Academy - Drumaness clash on Sunday afternoon with the Senior League Section 2 points shared, in a rearranged match restricted to 20 overs a side.

Having been put in Academy posted 143 for 9 at Castle Grounds and the outlook seemed bleak going in to the final over when the visitors had reached 138 with five wickets in hand.

Waqas Mohammad had the responsibility of bowling the crucial last six balls, knowing that Drumaness needed only five to tie, or six to win. He conceded five off the first four balls, and with the scores now level, tension heightened when Drumaness lost a wicket off the penultimate ball, thanks to a fine catch by Chris Halliday.

When the batsman failed to make contact with the final delivery and a dangerous run was attempted, wicket-keeper Matthew Palmer made the most of the run-out opportunity to earn two points for the tied scores.

“That final over was the longest of the innings with tactics and field-placing discussed after every ball,” said club scorer Jack Quinn, “and the tie result was the first I can remember for quite some time.”

Mark Shields top-scored with 63, with the next highest contribution coming from teenager Philip Warke on 18, while Andre Halbert was the most successful bowler with 2 for 21. Mohammad, Mitchell Atkins and Halliday each had one wicket.

The result leaves Academy six points clear of Armagh at the top of the table, with eight wins and a tie from their 10 outings.

Academy’s home win against Armagh on Saturday saw an unusually high number of run-outs - five in all.

A combination of sharp fielding and batsmen’s indecision left the home bowlers with only five wickets to take and Atkins led the way with 3 for 48, with back-up provided by Adam Montgomery 1 for 19 and Andre Halbert 1 for 44.

Palmer’s lads eventually won this crucial clash by two wickets, but at one stage with seven down, their pole position was under threat.

Then came a eighth-wicket partnership of 64 between David Greenlees (39) and Halliday (32 not-out), that set up the win.

Greenlees was out with the score on 198, leaving Halliday and Mohammad to take the winning tally to 210 for 8 in 43.4 overs.

After electing to take first knock Armagh were bowled out for 209 in 48.5 overs, the highlight being a fifth-wicket partnership of 97 between Harry Boyd (40 not-out) and Michael Hoey 55.