Two defeats at the weekend cost Academy their Senior League Section 1 pole position.
After losing to Bangor and Muckamore the Hydepark lads drop to joint-fourth, albeit only one defeat behind joint leaders Downpatrick, Derriaghy and Woodvale, with only four points separating the top six teams.
Set a target of 206 at Upritchard Park on Saturday, Bangor romped to victory with four wickets and 31 balls to spare.
Batting first Academy were bowled out for 205 in 48.3 overs, with Mitchell Dickeson top-scoring with an unbeaten 48, followed by Matthew Palmer (34), Stephen Fawcett (30), Andre Halbert (27) and Danny McFadden (22).
After the fall of four rather cheap wickets, skipper Palmer and McFadden steadied the ship with a fifth-wicket partnership of 52, and the innings was later boosted by an eighth-wicket stand of 65 between Fawcett and Dickeson.
Dickeson also starred with the ball taking one for 27, but the best figures were returned by Mitch Atkins (2 for 52) with support from Waqas Mohammad (1 for 22) and Josh Stinson (1 for 47). while Chris Halliday caused the run-out with a quick return from point to wicket-keeper Andrew Kirkpatrick, a recent recruit from Woodvale.
“The Bangor innings was dominated by skipper Mark English with 53 and professional Remano Esau with 60 not-out,” said Academy secretary, Jack Quinn.
Even with home advantage at Castle Grounds on Sunday, Palmer’s lads proved to be no match for Muckamore, who extended their 100 per cent record with a comprehensive six-wicket win.
Academy recorded their lowest score of the season when they were skittled out for only 96 in 34.1 overs, with Dickeson (31) and Atkins (19) the only batsmen to make a significant contribution.
The visitors ensured an early finish when they reached 97 for 4, with the wickets claimed by Stinson (1 for 12), Mohammad (1 for 24), Atkins (1 for 21) and Francis Collins (1 for 19), while former Templepatrick protégé, Jay Hunter, top scored with 45.
“Muckamore are the strongest team that we have met this season, and already they are being tipped to win automatic promotion to the Premier League,” prophesised Jack Quinn.
Weekend’s fixtures: 1st XI v Downpatrick; Downpatrick IIv 2nd XI; Armagh II v 3rd XI.