Ballyclare High School exited the Ulster Bank Schools’ Cup at the second-round stage on Tuesday, losing out by an agonising three runs to Campbell College.
The Belfast side, runners-up in 2013 and 2015, kept up their hopes of going one better in this year’s competition in dramatic circumstances at Belmont Road.
Campbell batted first and set a seemingly attainable target of 92 as they were bowled out in 25.4 overs for 91 with lower order batsman Scott Wightman rescuing the innings with a top scoring 22.
Scott was supported by Andy McCormick (15) in a disappointing batting display.
In reply Ballyclare lost wickets steadily with only Adam Clarke looking secure with 21 but they made steady if slow progress towards their target.
With a straight driven maximum in the penultimate over Andy McCalmont looked to have struck a significant blow for the visitors who needed only four to win off the final over with the last pair at the wicket.
McCalmont then edged Mark Corey’s second ball into the grateful gloves of keeper Archie Johnston to give Campbell victory in an exciting finish.
Campbell will be now in the draw for Round 3 which will be made at the conclusion of the matches in Round 2.
Campbell College: 91 all-out (25.4 overs, Scott Wightman 22, Andy McCormick 15, Ben Lowry 4-13, Adam Clarke 3-14).
Ballyclare HS: 88 all-out (29.2, Adam Clarke 21, Hugh Minford 3-17)
Campbell College won by three runs.