It’s Hall too much for Palmer’s side as James lands 206 runs


There was no fairytale ending when Academy entered the realms of the Challenge Cup on Saturday - Waringstown’s James Hall saw to that with a remarkable double century.

Club officials were delighted when Matthew Palmer’s lads ousted Derriaghy in midweek, but they proved to be no match for the Premier League kingpins.

The County Armagh side have won this prestigious piece of silverware a staggering 21 times in the past 50 years and they showed no mercy for the Hydepark minnows at Castle Grounds, where they won by a massive 249 runs.

Palmer’s decision to field when he won the toss seemed to have been vindicated when Waqas Mohammad took two quick wickets to reduce the visitors to 21 for 2 in the opening five overs, but it all changed when Hall took control.

He plundered a majestic, undefeated 206 runs in a cavalier innings that included 17 sixes and 11 fours, as the top-flight giants raced to 328 for 7 in their allotted 50 overs.

Bowling averages were savaged in the process, with Hall taking a particular liking to spinners André Halbert and Mitchell Dickeson, while Mohammad was relatively pleased with his 3 for 50 return.

Hall obviously dominated the Waringstown innings, but he had sound support from the club’s overseas player, Prestorious, who contributed 36 before falling lbw to Halbert.

The Academy innings got off to a disastrous start when New Zealanders André Halbert and Mitchell Atkins, who had scored almost 1,500 runs last season, were both out for ducks with the scorecard showing 4 for 2.

However, Stephen Fawcett, batting at 10, salvaged some pride and top scored with a valiant rearguard 27.