Lisburn bounce back with a vengeance to earn league win

Bob Rankin batting for Lisburn against Ballymena, at Wallace Park. US1531-517cd  Picture: Cliff Donaldson
Bob Rankin batting for Lisburn against Ballymena, at Wallace Park. US1531-517cd Picture: Cliff Donaldson

After a series of defeats, Lisburn bounced back with a vengeance beating Ballymena by 95 runs in a rain soaked Wallace Park last Saturday.

This result pulls Lisburn level with Ballymena with two league wins one ahead of Carrickfergus.

The match started on time at 11 am but was interrupted on four occasions before Lisburn could claim their priceless victory. Struggling at 105 for 7, a vital partnership of 57 between Mark Berry and Graeme Browne rescued their innings and Berry later claimed 4 wickets for just 20 runs to cap a great afternoon for the all-rounder.

Lisburn again won the toss and batted first on a hard and pacey wicket but a damp outfield after overnight rain and openers Richard Simpson and Stevie Allen grafted for their runs taking ten overs to gather 31 before Allen was caught off the bowling of Taylor for a very useful 24.

Unfortunately Skipper, Davey Simpson was out early in his innings for 7, bowled by Glass as Lisburn reached 45 for 2 in the 15th over. However, Richard Simpson was proving hard to lodge and with Robert Rankin added a further 21 before Rankin, looking in good from was caught once again caught at mid-off for a disappointing 14.

Simpson was joined by Lisburn professional Darryl Brown ion the 22nd over and the pair took the score to 81 when Richard was clean bowled by Taylor for a dogged 23 and soon afterwards the game had it’s first rain shower which took the players off the pitch for half an hour.

On resumption, Lisburn lost a series of wickets when first James Magowan was out for 2 and then rather disappointingly, Darryl was bowled behind his legs for 27 when he looked like acting as Lisburn’s saviour. Things got worse for Lisburn when Adam Berry and Glen Halliday were both dismissed cheaply leaving Lisburn balancing on 106 for 8 in the 35th over.

At this point, Lisburn supporters were expecting the worst but Mark Berry and Graeme Browne had other thoughts and with some attacking shots caused the Ballymena bowling to look ragged as they added a priceless 56 for the 9th wicket.

Browne in particular recorded his highest score this season with a belligerent 35 not out while Berry was the perfect foil before being run out for a more than handy 23. Browne scored his runs off just 32 balls with two boundaries and Berry had a superbly times six in his 27 ball innings.

The pair had added the 56 runs in only eight overs totally changing the course of the match and even with the rain interruptions had taken the Lisburn total to a much healthier 164 for 9 at the end of the 43 over restricted innings.

After their fighting come back, Lisburn were looking for an explosive start to the Ballymena reply and this they got through opening bowlers Davey Simpson and Darryl Brown. The pair bowled straight and fast and after just 3 overs the visitors were in disarray at 2 for 3. Simpson accounted for Taylor and Dick while Brown bowled Gibson giving the home side an early advantage.

The Ballymena professional, Ghumann, ‘dug in’ but Lisburn then claimed the valuable wicket of James Kennedy in the 4th over reducing his team to 8 for 4. He was caught behind the wicket by Stevie Allen and although Ghumann and number six McKinley added 14 for the 5th wicket, again Lisburn struck when James Magowan chipped in with the wicket of McKinley leaving Ballymena struggling badly on 22 for 5 in the 13th over.

Ghumann added 10 runs with Dundas before the introduction of medium pacer Mark Berry and the young all-rounder provided the killing blow to an already doomed Ballymena.

Berry claimed four successive wickets, bowling Dundas, having Taylor brilliantly caught by Darryl Brown and McClean and Glass caught by Allen and Magowan respectively giving him his best bowling figures in Premier cricket with 4 for 20 in his 8 overs.

It was left to Carl Williams to wrap up the Ballymena innings when he bowled Glass leaving the visitors all out for a paltry 63 giving Lisburn a massive win by 95 runs decided by Duckworth/Lewis after the adjusted targets due to the rain breaks. Ballymena professional was unable to influence the game as he did at Eaton Park when he ran out of partners he remained 30 not out.

Mark Berry’s 4 for 20 was the cream of the Lisburn bowling while Davey Simpson had 2 for 16 and Darryl Brown 2 for 5 including the prime wicket of James Kennedy.

James Magowan had 1 for 10 and Carl Williams bowled only three overs of spin taking the final wicket for just 11 runs.

Lisburn will have had a great boost after such a positive bowling performance but next week end they face two more difficult hurdles which will require a more convincing batting display.

On Saturday they travel to CIYMS and on Sunday to Civil Service/North. CIYMS secured the Challenge Cup and have already taken the points at Wallace Park in June.

They have a number of talented batsmen in their line-up particularly Rassie van der Dussen and the ex Irish all-rounder Nigel Jones.

Civil Service also have a star studded line-up but as yet have not performed to their potential possibly giving Lisburn their best chance of a much needed third league win.

Both matches start at the early time of 11 am.