It’s a win at last! Lisburn off the bottom after narrow victory

Lisburn's James Magowan. Pics: Presseye
Lisburn's James Magowan. Pics: Presseye

Lisburn survived a nail biting finish against Carrickfergus on Saturday to chalk up their first Premier League win of the season.

Lisburn had to suffer all the vagaries of 50 over cricket before they took the vital points by one wicket with just eight deliveries remaining in an exciting see-saw match in Wallace Park.

Lisburn's Richard McConkey celebrates after dismissing Carricks Alex Haggen

Lisburn's Richard McConkey celebrates after dismissing Carricks Alex Haggen

Skipper Adam Berry chose, surprisingly, to ask Carrick to bat having won the toss on a firm wicket and very quick outfield. Davey Simpson and Mark Berry opened the attack and were rewarded with the wicket of Parkhill in the sixth over with Carrick on 18. Berry clean bowled him and without any addition to the score, Simpson had Gilmour caught by Cody Chetty for 16.

Carrick professional Botha and number three Holmes set about correcting the situation with a sound stand of 47. However, the introduction of Richard McConkey, Lisburn’s best bowler to date, seemed to stem the runs.

Botha was clean bowled for 15 and with the score on 77, Haggan was lbw to McConkey and Lisburn had reduced Carrick to 77 for four after 23 overs.

The accurate McConkey struck again five overs later when he had Smith brilliantly caught by Davey Simpson at mid-off and Callum Atkinson got into the act with the prize wicket of Holmes who had batted for 30 overs for his 40 runs.

Lisburn's Richard McConkey

Lisburn's Richard McConkey

At that stage, Carrick were struggling on 92 for 6six and Lisburn looked set to dismiss their opponents for a low score. However, Ryan Eagleson ground out a priceless 42. He lost Armstrong and Shetty in the process but Brown stayed for 10 overs and the Carrick score reached the more than reasonable tally of 178.

Lisburn Captain Berry tried a variety of bowlers while attempting to break the Eagleson resistance and the last effort by Chettydid not work particularly well as he bowled too many short pitched balls and went for 18 off three overs.

The down side of Lisburn’s bowling was again the excessive number of wides bowled by the Lisburn bowlers - 25 on this occasion giving Carrick the equivalent of more than four extra overs in their innings.

Lisburn, chasing 179 to win their first league points of the season, did not start well, losing the wicket of Robert Rankin in the third over. He was bowled by Armstrong for one but Richard Simpson and Adam Berry steadied the innings with a stand of 34 before Simpson was caught for 28 in the 17th over having taken the Lisburn score to 40.

Lisburn’s professional, fresh from his superb 90 the previous evening at Comber, looked to take charge of the reply and with Adam Berry added a further 27. Just when it looked as if the pair would dominate the innings, Berry was clean bowled by Shetty for a valuable 28 with the score at 67 for three.

Stevie Lazars joined the professional and again they looked to be in complete control of the situation with another well-formed stand of 23 before Lazars played a needless shot and was caught by Botha for 13.

Chetty was joined at the crease by James Magowan and this partnership looked as if they would take the game away from Carrick. They added an excellent 56 for the sixth wicket when suddenly Magowan was bowled for 27.

Lisburn’s challenge for the points took a severe jolt just two overs later when Professional Chetty was out to a rash shot having just completed a very good half century. It was left to the experience of Davey Simpson and the Lisburn late order to see them through.

However, when Simon Olphert was out for four with the score at 154 for eight and Mark Berry, having struck a superb six , caught, Lisburn still needed six runs to win.

Richard McConkey was the ninth Lisburn wicket to fall, bowled by Botha with three runs still required and with the fielders all round Callum Atkinson’s bat, the match was decided when Botha thankfully delivered a wide down the leg side and Lisburn had won by the narrowest margin of one wicket with eight balls remaining.

Every time Lisburn got into a winning position, they contrived to lose wickets and give Carrick another chance to steal the match but in the end they just managed to scrape past the winning post.

Davey McDowell was the match sponsor.