Ballantyne blasts ‘Aghy Twos to Cup win

The victorious Derriaghy Second XI with Intermediate cup
The victorious Derriaghy Second XI with Intermediate cup

Derriaghy Seconds won the NCU Intermediate Cup with a 69 run victory over Woodvale Seconds on Saturday.

With the match being played at their Queensway base it was the home side who batted first, having lost the toss.

Scott Hughes receiving his Man of the Match award in the Intermediate cup final from Peter McMorran, President of the NCU.

Scott Hughes receiving his Man of the Match award in the Intermediate cup final from Peter McMorran, President of the NCU.

Opener Matthew Ballantyne was to be the star performer with the bat hitting a fluent 83 in his 30 overs at the crease.

Along with Ross Mulholland he gave his side a solid base seeing off the experienced visiting off spin bowler Duck Donnelly and then sharing in very useful partnerships with Aaron Kinnin (21) for the 4th wicket and Travis Moorhead (27) for the 6th.

After Ballantyne departed on 154, having struck 9 boundaries and 2 x 6s, it was left to the tail enders to ensure all the overs were used up.

This was achieved thanks mainly to captain Kingsley Beckett and Scott Hughes with Hughes being the last man out of the final delivery and the score on 202.

Action from the NCU Intermediate Cup match between Derriaghy 2nds and Woodvale US3316-413PM Pic by Paul Murphy

Action from the NCU Intermediate Cup match between Derriaghy 2nds and Woodvale US3316-413PM Pic by Paul Murphy

When the visitors batted they found bowlers Simon Gilmore and Scott Hughes in great form and together with some very enthusiastic fielding they never allowed the batsmen to get on top.

It was Hughes who did the early damage claiming 3 for 7 of his first 5 overs while Gilmore claimed a fourth victim in his 5th over.

Woodvale’s most productive partnership then added 45 runs before Josh Cardosi produced a great piece of fielding to run out Irwin – he later repeated the act for another run out.

Travis Moorhead was by this stage bowling beautifully and deserved greater reward than his 1 for 18 of 7 showed.

Action from the NCU Intermediate Cup match between Derriaghy 2nds and Woodvale US3316-412PM Pic by Paul Murphy

Action from the NCU Intermediate Cup match between Derriaghy 2nds and Woodvale US3316-412PM Pic by Paul Murphy

Gilmore returned and picked up the final wicket to finish with 2 for 28 but it was Hughes who collected a fourth to finish with figures of 4 for 17 that convinced NCU President Peter McMorran to award him Man of the Match.

Many will feel Ballantyne was unlucky not to have received the award for his magnificent innings.

In the end Woodvale were all out in 35 overs for 133.

Although Ballantyne and Hughes were the stand out stars on the day this really was a great team performance with top class catching and fielding from a youthful side with an average age of under 25.

Although there were celebrations late into the evening it was back to league action the next day and another win, this time over North Down, to ensure they remain unbeaten this year.

After restricting the County Down men to 121 it was Stephen Cairnduff who produced a stunning innings of 58 to see his side to a 3 wicket victory.

The Seconds have two games left, at home to CSNI on Saturday, and away in a rearranged match at Lurgan next Tuesday evening.

With having already been crowned Junior 3 champions the team would now like to go through the season undefeated.

The Thirds play their final home match on Sunday at Queensway against Academy.

The club’s Under 17 Colts team meanwhile bowed out of the cup at the semi final stage on Friday going down by 7 wickets at Carrick.

J Lynch and M Jones both got into the 30’s when Derriaghy batted first but a 70 run opening partnership ensured Carrick had enough to get home with nearly 3 overs to spare.

The First XI suffered two heavy defeats at the weekend and are now favourites for relegation with just three games remaining.

At North Down on Saturday they came up against the top performing batting professional in the country at present, Pieter Malan, who hit a devastating 180 not out in his side’s 312 for 2.

The Queensway men made a valiant attempt to chase this large total but despite 40 from Craig Lewis and 50 from Kaushik Aphale they eventually slide to 139 all out.

On Sunday at CIYMS it was Derriaghy who batted first and fared a bit better than the day before.

They totalled 160 with Aphale being the top scored again (87).

The home side however, made light work of chasing this total down winning the match by the margin of 9 wickets.

This Saturday they travel to Stormont to face CSNI knowing defeat will all but confirm their return to league 1.

Play gets under way at 11am.