League leaders Armagh see off Greer’s men


TEMPLEPATRICK’S defeat by leaders Section 2 leaders Armagh means that there is no change at the top of the table.

Armagh remain out in front and this emphatic win, by 68 runs, enhanced their title aspirations.

Fourteen points clear of the chasing pack, Armagh remain firm promotion favourites, but a lot could happen during their nine remaining fixtures.

Meantime, Richard Greer’s lads have to be content with a mid-table position, but they will be hoping to achieve a podium finish with 13 fixtures to fulfil.

Rain spoiled Saturday’s clash in Armagh where any hopes of a ‘Patrick win vanished when the Duckworth-Lewis method came into play.

“That made a huge difference, and in attempting to up the scoring rate we lost wickets quickly, and in the end we were well short, and returned home empty-handed,” said Greer.

“Without making excuses, I have to state we got the worst of the weather, with our batsmen being absolutely soaked on an afternoon when other matches, not very far away, were abandoned because of the weather conditions.

“We had been hoping for a win that would have renewed interest in the title race, but that didn’t happen, and we will have to redouble our efforts to climb a few places in the table.

“Apart from runaway leaders Armagh, there is keen competition for the runners-up spot with only six points between the next five teams, including ourselves,” he said.

In a game reduced to 45 overs, Armagh posted 184 for four, with the wickets evenly distributed between Chris Busby (one for 22), Robert Smith (one for 30), Ross Bryans (one for 34) and Phil Kernaghan (one for 52).

Set a revised target of 179 off 31 overs, Templepatrick were all out in the 24th over for 111, with Kernaghan (17) and Artie Campbell (15) the only ones to achieve double figures.

Next up Templepatrick face Cooke Collegians at Shaw’s Bridge on Saturday.

Ben Lowry and Bradley Moore from the under-13 XI had fine debuts at adult level when they turned out for Templepatrick III, but were unable to prevent defeat by Derriaghy IV in a Junior League fixture.

The Section 3 match was played at Hollinger Park in Ballyclare where the visitors won by 39 runs.

Niall Dalton was Templepatrick’s star performer when he returned the impressive figures of six for 27 with support from Philip Gregg who took two for 36, while restricting Derriaghy to 131 in their allotted 30 overs.

There was some good fielding by the hosts with Stevie Fettis and Scott Gault completing sharp run-outs.

Except for skipper Peter Shepherd who top scored with 27, the young home batsmen struggled against some accurate bowling and were all out for 92 in 28 overs.

The third-team’s next match will be on August 11 when they entertain CIYMS IV.

David McWilliams’ second-team maintained their Junior League Section 3 title challenge with a fine win by five wickets against Armagh II.

With only one league defeat to date, they sit at the summit, four points ahead of Laurelvale II, who have a match in hand.

On Saturday Templepatrick II play Cooke Collegians II in Ballyclare.