Lisburn lose to Instonians as quest for league points goes on

Richard Simpson batting for Lisburn. US1525-527cd  Picture: Cliff Donaldson
Richard Simpson batting for Lisburn. US1525-527cd Picture: Cliff Donaldson

Lisburn, struggling for league points, suffered their second defeat by Instonians this season.

Having already lost to the Premier League champions early in May, they were again second best in a high scoring match at Shaws Bridge last Saturday.

Enjoying the sunshine during a recent match. US1525-530cd  Picture: Cliff Donaldson

Enjoying the sunshine during a recent match. US1525-530cd Picture: Cliff Donaldson

It is testament to the quality of the wicket that 544 runs were scored during the sunny afternoon with the home side coming out on top by 44 runs.

Instonians had won the toss and had no hesitation in batting first on the hard and true pitch and very quick outfield.

Instonians opener Neil Russell made the best of the conditions with a very quick start to the innings being the leading partner in the opening stand with Smith.

The pair added 42 in ten overs before Smith was lbw to change bowler Mark Berry bringing the Instonians professional Iqbal to the crease.

Lisburn Cricket Club's Robert Rankin US2115-408PM Pic by Paul Murphy

Lisburn Cricket Club's Robert Rankin US2115-408PM Pic by Paul Murphy

Russell was striking the ball hard at this stage and with the pro the second wicket produced 48 in the next eight overs when thankfully for Lisburn Russell was stumped by Stevie Allen off Mark Berry for a very rapid 58 off just 58 balls.

Ex-Lisburn player Marty Lightbody put his bat to the ball with some purpose when he came ot the crease and along with Layard added a punishing 50 runs of the remaining 7 overs as the Lisburn fielding and bowling began to wilt.

Both Layard[41] and Lightbody[21] were dismissed in the last over by Darryl Brown but Instonians had raised their score to an imposing 294 for 7 as their innings closed.

Darryl Brown was the pick of the Lisburn bowlers with 2 for 63 off his 10 overs while fellow opening bowler Davey Simpson took 1 for 64 also off his full allocation of 10 overs.

Mark Berry chipped in with two valuable wickets for 68 off his 10 while Graeme Browne and Callum Atkinson were the other wicket takers with 1 for 32 and 1 for 25 respectively.

Lisburn facing the difficult total of 295 to win began in the first possible fashion losing captain Davey Simpson off his first delivery, but brother Richard and Robert Rankin set about rescuing the innings.

The pair batted for the next 15 overs, both playing some fine attacking shots and seeming in little trouble.

Pace and spin were treated with little respect as they added 78 in those 15 overs giving Lisburn more than a thought of a surprise victory. However in the 17th over Richard Simpson was caught by Lightbody off the left arm spin of Zach Rushe for a very well formed 35.

Stevie Allen joined Robert Rankin at the crease and he must have been impressed by his partner as he was scoring all-round the wicket with a lot of authority before, he was caught and bowled by the wily White for an excellent 62 off only 59 balls.

The Lisburn score at this stage was 123 for 3 after 24 overs but if Rankin had gone on to a large score, Lisburn might well have come close to causing an upset. However, after his dismissal Lisburn immediately began to struggle for the quick runs required. Glen Halliday was bowled in the next over by Iqbal for a ‘duck’ leaving Lisburn on 125 for 5 and overs running out.

Lisburn were given a boost when Adam Berry, playing his first match after a long absence with a broken ankle, along with Lisburn pro Darryl Brown, took the attack to the Instonians bowlers and upset their rhythm with a stand of 64 in just 11 overs taking the tally to 189 before the adventurous Berry was caught at mid-wicket for an entertaining 38 off just 47 balls.

Darryl Brown continued to strike the ball with effect while running out of partners. However. Mark Berry had other ideas as he spent only 7 overs at the wicket scoring a very quick 28 from 29 deliveries, adding a flurry of 54 runs.

Following his dismissal in the 46th over, the innings petered out and just an over later Brown was caught for a gritty 55 from 54 balls. He had scored his runs off 54 balls with five boundaries and a six.

The pair had certainly worried Instonians with their late resistance but Graeme Brown, Callum Atkinson and Aaron McKeown were all out in the 47th over leaving Lisburn all out for 250 in the 48th over and losing by 44 runs.

Lisburn had shown a measure of resistance in their reply to Instonian’s high score with good efforts from Robert Rankin, Richard Simpson, Darryl Brown and the Berry brothers but in the end they found the task just too difficult.

This Saturday, Lisburn face their next ’crunch match’ when they entertain Ballymena in the Park.

Their opponents have already won two games while Lisburn and Carrickfergus have managed just a single victory .

A win against the determined Braid men would lift the confidence of Davey Simpson’s team and after scoring 250 against the League champions they must fancy their chances of taking themselves off the bottom of the table.