A third-wicket partnership of 150 between Jay Hunter and Bob Homani set up a Senior League Section 1 win for Templepatrick against league leaders Woodvale.
Opening the innings at The Cloughan, Hunter just missed out on a century when he finished on 97 not-out, while Homani contributed an unbeaten 83.
Hunter and James Jackson (21) got the innings off to a solid start with 61 for the first wicket, and then skipper Richard Greer (17) and Hunter added a further 32 for the second wicket.
That brought together Hunter and Homani, and the club’s overseas player dominated what was a match-winning third-wicket stand, with his 83 not-out including 10 fours and one six, while J Browne, with 2 for 43, was the pick of the Woodvale attack.
The north Belfast batsmen all struggled against the wily spin of Robert Smith, who was tops in the bowling department with 4 for 17, with support from Ross Bryans (2 for 27), Jordi Fettis (1 for 4), Rhydian Davies (1 for 18) and Chris Busby (1 for 35), while Jackson was responsible for the run-out with a direct hit on the stumps.
“Jay Hunter and Bob Homani took full advantage of a good batting wicket, and then our bowlers never allowed Woodvale to get on top, while wicket-keeper Homani took four fine catches,” said skipper, Richard Greer.
“Jay was particularly unfortunate not to register his first century of the season. He was sitting on 94 with two overs remaining, but was unable to get enough of the strike to get that one boundary he needed,” he explained.
With two wins from four outings, Greer’s lads sit in a comfortable mid-table position, while Dundrum and Holywood are struggling at the bottom. With each of the top six teams (including Templepatrick) having already lost twice, the Section 1 promotion chase promises to be one of the most closely contested in years.
n Saturday’s fixtures: 1st XI v Derriaghy, home; 2nd XI v Derriaghy II, away; Sunday: 3rd XI v Instonians V, home.