Academy earned the weekend bragging rights with the narrowest of wins in the local derby against Templepatrick.
This Senior League Section 1 fixture went down to the wire, with Robert Smith’s lads needing six to win with one wicket standing. But Andre Halbert dismissed Andy McCalmont to give the visitors victory by four runs at The Cloughan.
When Smith won the toss he opted to bowl and his decision was vindicated when the Hydepark lads struggled to 122 all-out in 47.3 overs.
Three home bowlers shared the wickets with Michael Stewart the most economical with three for 19, followed by Ross Bryans (three for 22) and Jordan Carlisle (three for 27).
Academy’s reply got off to a disastrous start with Mitch Atkins, Mark Shields and Andrew Magee back in the changing rooms without a run on the board.
Thanks to a fourth-wicket partnership of 38 between Halbert and skipper Matthew Palmer, they recovered somewhat, but struggled to get into three figures before closing on 122.
Palmer top-scored with 26, and there were significant contributions from Mitchell Dickeson (21 not-out) and Halbert (18).
A superb spell of bowling by Dickeson, who took five for 23, ensured home wickets fell regularly before the innings closed on 118 in 45.4 overs.
Phil Kernaghan top-scored for Templepatrick with 26 not-out, supported with 20 by Bob Homani.
Halbert (two for nine), Josh Stinson (two for 30) and Atkins (one for 16) were the other successful Academy bowlers.
“It was a topsy-turvy low-scoring game, with bowlers on top throughout, but there was a tense finish,” said Academy secretary Jack Quinn.
“Templepatrick’s last pair, Phil Kernaghan and Andy McCalmont, were at the wicket needing five to tie or six to win.
“Kernaghan, facing Andre Halbert, scrambled a single off the second ball, but Andre secured the points when he bowled McCalmont next ball.”