McWilliams’ men progress to Cup semi-final

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TEMPLEPATRICK seniors were knocked out of the Junior Cup at the weekend at the quarter-final stage, but the 2nd XI restored pride at The Cloughan by advancing to the semi-final of the Intermediate Cup.

Junior cup holders, Cooke Collegians, completed a league and cup double over Richard Greer’s lads when they scraped home by 19 runs with the issue in doubt until the penultimate over.

Taking first knock at their Shaw’s Bridge headquarters Cooke posted an impressive 242 for 8 in their 50 overs, during which James Jackson (2 for 28) and Chris Busby (2 for 54) were the most successful bowlers, while Rhydian Davies, Robert Smith, Ross Bryans and Jordan Carlisle each bagged one wicket.

Templepatrick’s reply got off to a fine start with openers Busby (30) and Jay Hunter (26) putting on 48 for the first wicket.

Jackson confirmed his all-rounder credentials with a fine knock of 58, but he was surpassed in the batting department by Mark Thompson who top scored with an unbeaten 60,

This pair set up an interesting finish and it was nail-biting time when the visitors needed 20 off the final two overs , but the hosts secured the ticket to the semi-final when Andy McCrea was run out with the total on 223.

Commenting skipper Greer said: “It was a very tight game that could have gone either way. We expected a difficult game against the cup holders, especially after they had beaten us by almost a hundred runs in Ballyclare last month, but in the end they had too many runs on the board.

“However we made a match of it and with a little bit of luck we could have been going forward to meet Laurelvale in the semi-final,” he added.

Templepatrick have two home Senior League Section 2 fixtures this weekend: against Laurelvale on Saturday followed by the local derby with Academy on Sunday; both matches will be staged at The Cloughan.

David McWilliams’ 2nd XI fared better in the quarter-final of the Intermediate Cup when they defeated Cregagh II by 48 runs in Ballyclare.

Machan Brien (30) top-scored for the hosts, with fine support from Jonathan Rainey (22) and McWilliams (18) before the innings closed on 129 in the 39th of their allotted 40 overs.

In reply the city side could muster only 81 with Peter Shepherd being tops in the bowling department with 3 for 17 off eight, but he was well supported by Stephen Boyd (2 for 13) and Jordi Fettis (2 for 19) with Ryan McIlwaine, James Hall and Andy McCalmont each claiming one victim.

In the semi-final Templepatrick II will have home advantage against either Derriaghy II or Lurgan II on July 21.

Saturday’s Junior League Section 3 fixture against is away to Laurelvale II.