A third NCU Premier League defeat has left Lisburn bottom of the table.
The game in the Park against North Down, sponsored by Billy Jamieson, left Lisburn adrift by 61 runs after another rain affected match.
North Down won the toss and with unsettled weather expected, surprisingly chose to bat first and it took Lisburn 7 overs before they claimed their first wicket when Graham was caught by Richard McConkey off the tight bowling of Mark Berry with the score on 28.
Danger man Neil Russell was in his usual attacking form scoring 42 off 52 ball before he also was claimed by Mark Berry but the North Down total had gone onto 68 in the 18th over.
The visitor’s professional Ruan Pretorious was quickly dismissed; caught behind the wicket by stand in wicket keeper Glen Halliday off the bowling of Davey Simpson; regular keeper Graham Elliott had injured himself in the warm-up. Neil Burns was lbw to ‘G’ Koopman for just 13 as North Down found themselves 98 for 4 in the 28th over as Lisburn kept the visitor’s innings well in check.
However, North Down number three Shields was forming an impressive innings of his own which proved to be the back bone of his team’s tally. He found a partner in Peter Eakin which added 34 for the 5th wicket before Eakin was caught by Davey Simpson off the bowling of Nathan Doak, son of Neal making his debut in Premier cricket. Doak followed up with the second scalp of Nelson, caught by Koopman leaving North Down 136 for 6 in the 37th over.
Once again, Lisburn let their opponents ‘off the hook’ as Shields and Robinson plundered 52 runs off the next 8 overs swinging the game back in favour of North Down and when the innings finally closed in the 50th over, they had reached 225 for 8, probably 30 runs more than they deserved. Shield was last out scoring 86, an innings which set his team up with a very good chance of taking the vital league points.
Mark Berry was Lisburn’s best bowler on the day with 2 for 31 off his 10 accurate overs; Nathan Doak on his first appearance, returned 2 foir 30 off his 5 overs, Davey Simpson, 1 for 41, Callum Atkinson 1 for 57 and ‘G’ Koopman 1 for 22 in his very tight 10 overs of spin.
Lisburn. Longing for a solid start to their reply reached 16 before Richard Simpson was lbw to spinner Moreland which gave ‘G’ Koopman and Adam Berry the chance to build a telling partnership. The pairing lasted only until the 15th over when Adam was unluckily stumped off Robinson for 16 when the second wicket had added just 28.
A massive blow to Lisburn’s hopes came just 3 runs later when their professional ‘G’ Koopman was caught by Russell also off Robinson and things began to look bleak for the home side but Davey Simpson and Robert Rankin settled down to form a stand of 28 for the 4th wicket but when it looked like they were going to make an impact on the game, Rankin was bowled by Robinson for 11.
Davey Simpson soon followed; the in-form batsman was caught by Shields off Eakin for 16 and with the Lisburn score on 80 for 5 in the 27th over, the ‘writing was on the wall’
The teams were brought off for another downpour in the 28th over and when they resumed Lisburn required a total of 211 off 43 overs in the adjusted Duckworth/Lewis reckoning.
However, Glen Halliday was quickly caught for 1 after play had restarted and Callum Atkinson was also out in the 30th over leaving Lisburn struggling badly at 90 for 7.
Michael Turkington and Richard McConkey added valuable runs with Mark Berry who had looked more than sound, Turkington made 9 before he too was out to Eakin and after some determined striking by Mark Berry aided by McConkey the Lisburn score rose to 147 before Berry was given out lbw to Davison for Lisburn highest score of 42 which included three boundaries and two sixes.
The innings closed when McConkey was also lbw, this time to Eakin, he had scored 8 but had been in the best Lisburn stand of the day with Berry; 42 precious runs but not nearly enough to threaten the North Down innings of 225.
At the end of the 38th over Lisburn were all out for a paltry 150 and lost the game and the vital points by 61 runs on the revised Duckworth/Lewis system.
The Wallace Park side now find themselves at the bottom of the Premier League table after four matches and even if there is still a long way to go in the season a win against Instonians next Saturday would surely take some pressure off a team which simply is not scoring sufficient runs to win league games.
Lisburn also have their second round of the Irish Cup next week end when they entertain Balbriggan in the Park.