The outcome of Templepatrick’s final Senior League Section 1 fixture of the season went down to the wire.
Needing a six off the last ball of the match, Phil Kernaghan made a good connection and sent the ball hurtling towards the boundary, but it fell just short of the rope, leaving Cliftonville victors by two runs.
This rearranged fixture was played under the Twenty20 format at Pollock Park in Lurgan, owing to Cliftonville’s home ground being unavailable.
Opting to take first knock, the hosts posted a formidable total of 154 for 3, with Jordi Fettis (1 for 18), Kernaghan (1 for 26) and Ross Bryans (1 for 35) the successful bowlers.
Needing to score at almost eight an over in the absence of overseas player, Bob Homani, who has returned to south Africa, was quite a tall order, but James Jackson (38), Bryans (21), Robert Smith (16 not out), Kernaghan (16 not out) and Richard Greer (14) kept the scoreboard ticking along nicely, and culminated in that thrilling finish with Kernaghan’s heroic effort just failing to deliver the points.
Reflecting on the season, skipper Greer said: “This was our second campaign in Section 1 and we improved on last year’s performance. Last year we won six matches, this year we won 10 of our 18 fixtures, and finished in mid-table, but we were just one win short of a joint second place finish.
“In fact, if Phil Kernaghan had managed a six instead of a four off that last ball of the season, we would have been up there just behind champions Carrick,” he concluded.
Homani and Jay Hunter were the club’s top batsmen throughout the season, while Robert Smith with 39 wickets was tops in the bowling department.
Meanwhile, promising all rounder, Jordi Fettis, is off to Australian for cricket during the winter, when he will link up with last season’s overseas player Warren Clunes.