Duo inspire Carrickfergus to LVS Twenty20 Cup final victory
A blistering 117-run partnership between Jacques Snyman and Jeremy Lawlor helped inspire Carrickfergus to victory over CSNI in the LVS Twenty20 Cup final at The Lawn on Sunday.
The Middle Road outfit booked their spot in the showpiece decider after beating Lisburn on Saturday while CSNI continued their unbeaten run by progressing past CIYMS thanks to an astonishing century from captain Gary Wilson.
Having won the toss, Carrick captain Michael Gilmour elected to bat at a sun-drenched Lawn and started quickly himself before he was caught off the bowling of Ross Adair.
That brought Lawlor to the crease alongside overseas professional Snyman and the pair quickly began to put their side into a strong position, scoring runs at will and the South African international brought up his half-century from 21 deliveries, which included four sixes.
He didn’t show any signs of slowing down and made it to 79 off 31 balls before he became Adair’s (2-34) second wicket of the afternoon.
By that stage Carrick were already sitting on 142-2 after 12 overs and Lawlor - who has also been in fine form for the Northern Knights - reached his own fifty from 36 deliveries.
Neil Rock (39) - playing in his last game for Carrick before heading back to captain Rush today - scored at over a 200 strike-rate and helped accelerate the innings even further by putting on 89 for the third-wicket with Lawlor.
Lawlor (91*) ran out of time to reach what would have been a deserved century, but his innings helped Carrick reach a mammoth 254-3 and put the game seemingly out of CSNI’s reach.
It’s testament to the Stormont side, who have been so impressive all season, that after 10 overs of their chase it felt they were well in the game, with Luke Georgeson (93 from 45) and Ross Adair (45 from 28) helping them reach 132-1 after 10 overs.
Twenty-two-year-old Georgeson has been one of the standout performers in the NCU since arriving from New Zealand and as long as he was at the crease anything was possible, but when his superb innings was brought to an end by Neil Gill, it was the turning point that gave Carrick all the momentum.
Stuart Thompson (22) threatened to keep the pressure on Carrick but he was caught in the deep by Lawlor off the bowling of Snyman in the 16th over.
CSNI ultimately finished on 211-7 - 43 runs short of their target - but it was a game that will live long in the memory of all those in attendance.
Snyman was named Man of the Match for his display with the bat combined with figures of 2-32, and he was happy to deliver on what was a main goal ahead of the season.
“It was a great game for the boys,” he said.
“We had this as a goal at the beginning of the season and it’s nice to deliver the trophy at the end.
“For me, I just wanted to contribute to the team and today it paid off so I’m very happy.”
The Premier League season will get underway next weekend with Carrick starting against North Down at Middle Road, and Snyman is determined to keep the success coming.
“It’s my second season and I just want to give us the best chance of winning trophies,” he added.
“I’m happy that we have one and now it’s onto the 50-over competition and the Challenge Cup as well.
“The momentum is with us now and we just want to carry that with us so that’s the goal.”
Lawlor was a winter signing from Leinster side Phoenix and he was also star of the show in Saturday’s semi-final victory after scoring 78*.
His form has been impressive at both club and Inter-Provincial level and even though he has only been at Carrick for a matter of months, he knew how important an occasion it was for the club.
“It was bound to be a great game for the neutral!” he said.
“We thought that we would be able to defend 260 easily enough but the way they came out with Luke Georgeson’s innings was unbelievable.
“They have big hitters all the way down but it’s such a great win and I know how much it means to the club, so it’s just fantastic.
“The most important thing was contributing to a win.
“There would have been nothing worse than losing that game and it wouldn’t have meant as much.
“You can see how much it means to everybody here and it’s a huge day for the club.”
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