Templepatrick Cricket Club First XI secured their place in NCU Section 1 next season with two wins in five days.
Richard Greer’s side defeated Holywood by eight runs in a closely contested T20 match at Seapark on Wednesday, August 27. And on Sunday, August 31 they did the double over the Co. Down side, this time in a 50-over match at The Cloughan.
Batting first at Seapark, Templepatrick lost wickets at regular intervals as they struggled to a total of 126 all out.
Opener Jay Hunter (45) was top scorer for the visitors, with Phil Kernaghan and Ross Bryans contributing valuable runs at the end of the innings.
Some accurate bowling by the Templepatrick attack, in gloomy conditions, ensured Holywood were rarely ahead of the required rate. And as the innings came to a close they fell eight runs short, posting 118 for 8.
On Sunday in Ballyclare, the home side recovered from 80 for five to post a competitive total of 189 for 9 - Jay Hunter (74) and James Jackson (51) the mainstays of the innings.
In reply, Holywood could only muster 138, with TCC veteran Artie Campbell taking the final wicket to wrap up a 51-run victory in the 42nd over.
Templepatrick’s two wins over Holywood moves them up to a comfortable mid-table league position. The results also benefit local side Cliftonville, who are struggling near the foot of the table and battling with the Co Down club to avoid relegation.
The Second XI continued their fight to avoid the drop in NCU Junior 2 with a fine win over Intermediate Cup winners Derriaghy II at The Cloughan on Saturday afternoon.
Andy McCrea (39), Simon Beattie (29) and Niall Dalton (26) led the way as the home side put on 154.
The visitors were dismissed for 138, with Johnny Ramsey (4 for 18), Jamie Montgomery (3 for 30) and Michael Stewart (2 for 31) securing a vital 16 run win.
The Third XI, who have already secured their survival in NCU Junior 8, travelled to Moylena on Sunday to take on league champions Muckamore IV.
Requiring 131 for victory in 20 overs, Templepatrick produced a good chase and needed just two runs to win off the final ball of the match. Michael Stevenson, who had batted superbly to get his team close, smashed the ball down the ground, but was caught at long on, giving a relieved Muckamore side the win by the narrowest of margins.
Templepatrick CC’s ladies’ team brought their season to a close on Friday evening with a T20 match against an experienced North Down side.
Despite a nine wicket defeat on the night, Nicola Keating’s side can be proud of their first competitive season, which saw them produce some good performances and enjoy a win over Muckamore.