It was a complete cricket washout on Saturday for local clubs Academy and Templepatrick, with all seven NCU league matches postponed following heavy rainfall throughout the morning.
Templepatrick’s Section 1 top of the table clash with Downpatrick at The Cloughan had been eagerly looked forward to, with both clubs challenging Lurgan for the top spot.
Only eight points (two wins) separate the top seven teams in a most highly competitive section, and with the ground at Ballyclare soon to be required for rugby, TCC skipper Richard Greer will want to have this one rearranged as quickly as possible.
The 2nd XI’s Junior League Section 2 clash with Lurgan II at Pollock Park was also postponed as was the Section 8 match with Muckamore IV at Moylena.
This weekend’s fixtures: 1st XI v Carrickfergus, home; 2nd XI v Civil Service III, away; 3rd XI v Bangor IV, away.
Over at Hydepark it was a similar situation with all four Academy teams sidelined.
Matthew Palmer’s senior side is on course for a league and cup double, having qualified for the final of the Junior Cup (against Lisburn II), while being Senior League Section 2 promotion favourites.
They have a four points’ advantage over nearest rivals, Armagh, but Donacloney with matches in hand are the dark horses, going in to the second half of the season.
Academy would have fancied their chances of enhancing their top spot on Saturday against Saintfield at Castle Grounds, but this one also fell foul of the weather.
The Academy club that struggled to field a 2nd XI five years ago is heading for its best-ever season, with all four teams challenging for promotion after having implemented a youth policy that has proved to be most successful.
Sons of club stalwarts Brian Boyd, David Greenlees and Brian Kelso are amongst a bunch of emerging keen cricketers who will soon be challenging their fathers at a higher level.
Matches off: 2nd XI v Derriaghy II, away; 3rd XI v Derriaghy III, home; 4th XI v Instonians |V, away.
This weekend’s fixtures: 1st XI v Millpark, home; 3rd XI v CIYMS III, home; 4th XI v Larne II, away.