Winning weekend for Middle Road men in T20 and Ulster Cup

Carrick's Michael Gilmour performed well with the bat in Friday night's T20 win over Instonians.
Carrick's Michael Gilmour performed well with the bat in Friday night's T20 win over Instonians.

Carrickfergus Cricket Club’s 1st XI gave themselves a chance of progressing beyond the group stage of the Lagan Valley Steels T20 Cup with an impressive win over Instonians on Friday evening. They followed this up with a victory at St Johnston which saw them through to the quarter-finals of the O’Neill’s Ulster Cup.

Michael Gilmour’s 50 off 38 balls, which included two fours and four sixes, was the highlight of Carrick’s innings as they posted 112 for 8 against Instonians. The visitors were reduced to three for three, losing skipper Neil Russell, former Irish international Andrew White and West Indian Ryan Nurse, all without troubling the scorers.

A run-out followed and Instonians were in all sorts of trouble at 15 for 3 off six overs with Indrajeet Kamtekar, who picked up two of the wickets, having bowled three maidens. James Shannon and Stephen Bunting steadied things for their side and saw the score along to 60 without further loss in the 13th over.

Stephen Grant then got the vital breakthrough when he had Bunting caught in the deep for 25, and in his next over he followed this up with the vital wicket of Shannon, stumped by Gordon Browne for 28.

The remaining batsmen put up little resistance as the visitors were bowled out in the 18th over for 72, with left-arm spinner Grant celebrating his 22nd birthday in style by picking up four wickets.

This win gives Carrick a great chance of reaching the semi-finals - if they can win their final group match at Lisburn on June 5.

Carrick’s first-ever visit to St Johnston in the opening round of the Ulster Cup was curtailed by rain but the visitors won by 21 runs using the Duckworth-Lewis formula.

With a number of regular bowlers either unavailable or unable to bowl due to injury, Jon Ring was used as a makeshift opener after Carrick put the home team in to bat. It proved an inspired choice as Ring took two early wickets and finished with four as St Johnston tallied 137 from their 40 overs.

Kamtekar was his usual economical self, taking three wickets while conceding only nine runs in eight overs. Jamie Holmes took two wickets and Matthew Kernohan the other.

Skipper Iain Parkhill and Ring forged an opening partnership of 70 runs in 18 overs before both followed in quick succession as bad weather began to close in.

Parkhill made 23, while Man of the Match Ring hit 41. With the rain falling steadily and light fading, Carrick lost a further wicket before the umpires took the players off with the visitors on 96 for 3 off 25.5 overs.

A resumption proved impossible, and with a Duckworth Lewis par score of 75, Carrick won by 21 runs.