Templepatrick left facing prospect of life in Section Two

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After three seasons in Senior League Section One, Templepatrick find themselves relegated following a loss of form in the run-in.

Cliftonville and Donaghcloney had been occupying the bottom two places for most of the season, but the ‘Cloney lads succeeded in climbing out of the dropzone with one fixture remaining, and condemned Robert Smith’s lads to Section Two cricket next season.

“We were dealt a double-whammy when we lost two of our top batsmen at the beginning of the season,” reflected Smith.

“Jay Hunter was snapped up by Muckamore, while Jordi Fettis was off to Australia, but we coped quite well in the first half of the campaign.

“Losing the final two fixtures to the top two teams, Muckamore and Derriaghy finally sealed our fate, but the damage was done a few weeks earlier when we lost two vital home games against Donaghcloney and Woodvale due to batting collapses.

“However, we have a flourishing youth section and top of the agenda next season will be to bounce straight back up to Section One under whoever is elected captain at the forthcoming Annual General Meeting.”

Friday evening’s penultimate fixture against Muckamore was played under the Twenty20 format, with Templepatrick restricted to 114 for seven.

Phil Kernaghan top-scored with 37, followed by James Jackson (24) and Smith (18).

Muckamore reached the target with 10 balls and seven wickets to spare when they posted 115 for three. The wickets were taken by Kernaghan (1 for 17 off four overs), Michael Stewart (1 for 24 off four) and Smith (one for 29 off four).

TCC brought down the curtain on an eventful season on Saturday at Queensway, where Derriaghy triumphed by seven wickets.

Summary: Templepatrick 224 (R Bryans 47, Bob Homani 45, Kernaghan 35, Paddy Lutton 33).

Derriaghy 225 for 3 (K Aphale 85 not out, A Jamison 50, A Kenny 37. Jordan Carlisle 1 for 38, Homani 1 for 39, Kernaghan 1 for 44.