Instonians too strong for Smith’s TCC side


A place in the semi-final of the Ulster Bank Challenge Cup was one step too far for Templepatrick who lost their quarter-final tie against Instonians on Saturday. writes George Brown.

The difference in standards between the Northern Cricket Union’s Premier League and Section 1 were exposed when the city side took full advantage of playing on their own ground to win with the loss of just three wickets.

At tea, Robert Smith’s lads had posted 224, and felt they had done enough to give the big boys a run for their money. But half-centuries from J Shannon and N Russell, along with a knock of 93 by Man of the Match, Nikolai Smith, booked the Belfast side’s place in the last four.

Templepatrick’s overseas player, Bob Homani, was his side’s top scorer with 51, while Smith (47) and James Jackson (45) just missed out on half-centuries. Ross Bryans chipped in with a significant 31.

However, the bowlers were put to the sword by the Premier side’s batsmen who reached a winning 229 for 3, having always been ahead of the asking rate. The successful bowlers were Rhydian Davies (1 for 23), Michael Stewart (1 for 52) and Bryans (1 for 76).

TCC skipper Robert Smith said: “We felt that we had given our bowlers a chance when we got well past the 200-mark, but Instonians had too many good batsmen and they never looked like losing. However, we didn’t do ourselves any favours by not bowling or fielding as well as we normally do,” he added.

Next up, Templepatrick’s senior side have two matches to look forward to: Muckamore away on Saturday (June 20), followed by a rearranged home league fixture with Cliftonville on Sunday (June 21).

Other matches: 2nd XI v CSNI III, home; 3rd XI v Donaghcloney III, away.

Meanwhile, Templepatrick II beat Cregagh III by six wickets in a Junior League Section 3 fixture.