Academy bag two victories in friendlies


Academy boosted their aspirations for the new cricket season with two local derby friendly wins over the weekend.

On Saturday they claimed the bragging rights with a win against Templepatrick, and completed the double by defeating Cliftonville on Sunday.

At Hollinger Park in Ballyclare, hosts Templepatrick scored 163 in their allotted 40 overs, but Academy, under new skipper Matthew Palmer, coasted home with eight wickets to spare.

Two Belfast Royal Academy students from New Zealand who have been coaching the school rugby team are proving to be useful cricketers, and one of them, Andre Halbert, top-scored with an unbeaten 62, while Mark Shields contributed 51, and Andrew Magee 15 in the match-winning total of 164 for two.

Roughfort was the venue for Sunday’s 25 overs-a-side clash with Cliftonville, and this resulted in another emphatic win by six wickets.

Cliftonville knocked up 152 for six, but Andrew Magee’s 79 not-out laid the foundation for Academy posting 154 for four.

Needing four off the final three balls, Magee finished in style with a massive six.

“We have most of the old hands back for another season in Senior League Section 2, and we are hoping that the two New Zealand lads will bring something new to the club,” stated club secretary, Jack Quinn.

On Saturday Academy will be off to Gilford for a friendly against Millpark, in preparation for their opening league fixture on April 26th - away to Armagh.