Carrickfergus Cricket Club’s underwhelming Premier League season continued on Saturday with defeat at league contenders North Down.
A poor batting display handed the home side the upper hand, and in the end they won by six wickets.
Results elsewhere did not favour Carrick, they now face a major task to avoid relegation, with a must-win game at home to Lisburn on Saturday (11 am).
Carrick skipper Iain Parkhill won the toss and batted first, on what looked an excellent batting wicket and he and fellow opener Michael Gilmour set about the task of facing the North Down attack of Peter Davison and spinner Marty Moreland.
Davison was the first to strike, removing Gilmour cheaply, whilst at the other end Parkhill dug in and feasted on any short pitched bowling, before he was adjudged LBW for 25.
In no time Carrick found themselves at 49-4 from 21 overs and shortly after drinks were in greater trouble at 75-8. For a second game running, a late burst from Ashwin Shetty helped Carrick pass the 100-mark before he was bowled in the 45th over for 29, Carrick 118 all-out.
Carrick knew some excellent bowling was required to defend a well under-par total. Anthony Martin took the new ball and found a probing line, and the off-spin of Ryan Eagleson ensured North Down didn’t race out of the blocks.
Eagleson struck twice in his 10 overs, having Graham caught at deep mid-wicket, and soon after trapping Sutherland plumb in front.
North Down were 60-2 at drinks, but with Pieter Malan the most recent man to the crease, Carrick knew they’d have to remove him to stand any chance of winning. Shetty and Indrajeet Kamtekar claimed a wicket apiece at the other end, but Malan remained not-out as North Down reached the 119 target in the 34th over.
Carrickfergus 118 all out (Ashwin Shetty 29, Iain Parkhill 25; M Moreland 2-10, P Malan 2-11, P Eakin 2-23, J Mulder 2-30)
North Down 119-4 (D Graham 29, P Malan 26*, T Khan 20; Ryan Eagleson 2-15)
North Down beat Carrickfergus by six wickets