Larne v Ards Cricket Club 1st XI on Sat 30 Jul 2016 at 12.00
Ards Cricket Club Lost by 1 wicket

Match report Ards CC 1st XI made the trip to play unbeaten league leaders Larne in their Ulster Bank Section 3 match at the weekend nearly returning with the shock result of the week, as they pushed Larne all the way. Winning the toss, skipper Sims decided to be positive and bat first on a firm wicket at Sandy Bay, but Ards got off to a dreadful start as Balfour deflected the first ball of the match into his stumps. Thereafter wickets fell at regular intervals as most batsmen got starts but failed to post a telling score, with four of the top six getting into double figures. Peter Devlin at 7 was the top scorer with a pugnacious 34 which included two maximums and plenty of ones and twos on the long and slow outfield. He was last out as Ards failed to bat their overs, finishing on 140 all out in the 36th over, a total which was defendable if they could bowl and catch well but which, as the sun came out, was probably forty short of par on this pitch.

In reply, Larne race to 20-1 off three overs, and it was not until the score reached 91 in the 18th over that the second wicket fell. At this stage Larne, despite some testing bowling from off-spinner Sean Francis, were running away with the game, the main reason being the enormous number of wides which the Ards bowlers sent down (in excess of 40), meaning the batsmen had to take few risks to push the score along. Indeed, only two Larne batsmen were to get into double figures as the match took an astonishing turn. After the drinks break, Conor Balfour hit his straps in his second spell, taking 3-8, to cause some consternation in the home ranks. Francis finished his spell of eight overs taking 2-27, aided by an excellent running catch from Peter Devlin to dismiss the dangerous Dempsey, and was followed by the debutant, fourteen year old Ethan Davies, who bowled his first spell of off-spin for the 1st XI. In taking 2-25 off his 7 overs, he nearly gave Ards a sniff of an unlikely victory. At one stage Larne were 130-3 with 8 overs left, before a clatter of wickets left them 140-9 in the 37th over. Unfortunately the last player lofted a boundary over the umpire to seal the game for Larne.

In the end this was a lost opportunity to pull off an unexpected victory but the performance of the younger players showed determination and no little skill.

Ards Cricket Club 1st XI Batting
Player Name RunsMB4s6sSRCtStRo
19w 2b  
for 10 wickets

(35.4 overs)
Adam Balfour b McKinley 0
Richard Fitzsimmons ct McKinley 7
Jack Smith b McKinley 10
Conor Sims ct Gaw 16
Owen Roberts ct Cloke 16
Conn Crawford ct Gaw 16
Peter Devlin ct Dempsey 34
Ethan Davies b Cloke 4
Conor Balfour b Gaw 6
Jamie Millar-Hogg b Gaw 0
Sean Francis Not Out  10

Larne Bowling

Player nameOversMaidensRunsWicketsAverageEconomy

Larne Batting
Player name RMB4s6sSR
7nb 43w 8lb 
for 9 wickets
144 (36.5 overs)
Wilson b Peter Devlin 5
T. Dempsey lbw Ethan Davies 25
C. Dempsey ct Sean Francis 31
Kennedy b Sean Francis 6
Cloke b Conor Balfour 4
Gaw lbw Conor Balfour 8
Moore lbw Conor Balfour 0
Campbell ct Conn Crawford 1
McKinley lbw Ethan Davies 2
Weatherhead Not Out  0
McFaul Not Out  4

Ards Cricket Club 1st XI Bowling

Player NameOversMaidensRunsWicketsAverageEconomy
Peter Devlin8.0128128.003.50
Conor Balfour8.002237.332.75
Conor Sims3.001700.005.67
Sean Francis8.0327213.503.38
Jack Smith2.001300.006.50
Ethan Davies5.5025212.504.29
Conn Crawford2.00414.002.00