Victoria v Ards Cricket Club 1st XI on Sat 11 Jun 2016 at 1.00
Ards Cricket Club Won by 3 wickets

Match report Last Saturday Ards CC 1st XI, sponsored by Mash Direct, made the journey across to Lurgan to take on Victoria in an Ulster Bank Section 3 match. Both sides had shown inconsistent form so far but, in a league which is wide open so far, both had designs on an upper league position. Winning the toss Ards skipper Conor Sims had no hesitation in inserting Victoria, on a damp surface much like that of Dungannon a few weeks ago, backing his strengthened bowling attack to bowl Victoria out cheaply. And Ards got off a dream start as Devlin took a wicket with his second ball courtesy of a slip catch by Fitzsimmons. The rest of the opening exchanges were characterised by a familiar failing, the tendency to bowl too many wides. As both Devlin and Balfour tried hard for another breakthrough, it was Devlin who dismissed the other opener leaving Victoria 23-2 in the eighth over. The introduction of Sims to the attack brought the flow of runs to a trickle at his end and it was spinner Sean Francis who reaped the benefit. Bowling with flight, and extracting a lot of spin and bounce from the drying surface, Francis routed the middle order taking 4-39 as Sims bowled his eight overs for a paltry eleven runs. Francis’ figures would have been even more spectacular had it not been for the hitting of Thompson whose quick-fire 29 took twenty balls before being bowled by Francis. Matt Hulbert and Jack Smith bowled intelligently in the last ten overs, conceding only 26 runs, with Smith being the beneficiary of a spectacular one handed catch by young James Millar-Hogg at deep long-off, in the final over. Victoria scored 136-9 off their forty overs in an impressive display by the young Ards side.

In reply, Ards were rocked by the dismissal of Sims in the first over, but this brought young Jack Smith to the crease. After a slow start, and then losing Fitzsimmons at 25, Smith (48) began taking the attack to the Victoria bowlers dispatching anything short to the boundary and running hard to make ones into twos, with first Roberts (8) and then Matt Hulbert (32). He stroked five boundaries and a towering six before being caught right on the long-on boundary as he strove to hit Gilpin out of the ground. Thereafter it was Hulbert who took responsibility for shepherding Ards towards to the winning line as a number of players departed cheaply, though the extras given away by the Victoria bowlers began to mount. Eventually, it was left to Gary Niblock (6no) to strike the winning runs through extra cover to bring about a well-deserved win for Ards on the road.

This was an excellent win for Ards which showed just what a settled side could accomplish if available each week. The young players in particular took a lot of credit from this match with their excellent fielding and thoughtful bowling, and Jack Smith’s innings was worth a half century on a better outfield. Victoria were relegated from Section 2 at the end of last season, and have lost some players, but this should not take away anything from the Ards performance which the coach believed to be the best he had seen in the last two seasons.

Victoria Batting
Player name RunsMB4s6sSR
2nb 24w 2b 6lb 
for 9 wickets
136 (40.0 overs)
M. Parks ct  Peter Devlin 6
D. Reiman ct  Peter Devlin 1
A. Gray ct  Sean Francis 24
K. Dempster ct  Sean Francis 2
G. Thompson b  Sean Francis 29
M. Cochrane ct  Sean Francis 1
D. Gilpin ct  Conor Sims 3
J. Walsh ct  Jack Smith 19
P. McVey Run out  0
B. Johnston Not Out  10
J. McClune Not Out  3

Ards Cricket Club 1st XI Bowling

Player NameOversMaidensRunsWicketsAverageEconomy
Conor Balfour6.011900.003.17
Peter Devlin8.0133216.504.13
Conor Sims8.0211111.001.38
Sean Francis8.003949.754.88
Matt Hulbert5.001500.003.00
Jack Smith5.0111111.002.20

Ards Cricket Club 1st XI Batting
Player Name RMB4s6sSRCatchesStumpingsRun outs
4nb 29w 5b  
for 7 wickets

(28.3 overs)
Conor Sims b  A. Gray 0
Richard Fitzsimmons b  B. Johnston 5
Jack Smith ct  D. Gilpin 48
Owen Roberts Run out  8
Matt Hulbert b  J. McClune 21
Peter Devlin b  D. Reiman 4
Harry Jackson Run out  4
Gary Niblock Not Out  6
Conor Balfour Not Out  3
Sean Francis  
Jamie Millar-Hogg  

Victoria Bowling

Player nameOversMaidensRunsWicketsAverageEconomy
A. Gray7.3024124.003.20
J. Walsh2.001000.005.00
B. Johnston4.0026126.006.50
G. Thompson4.002400.006.00
D. Reiman4.0015115.003.75
D. Gilpin4.0015115.003.75
M Cochrane2.001200.006.00
J. McClune1.00616.006.00