Coleraine Second XI got their cricket season off to a disappointing start, suffering a 65-run defeat at home to Bready.
Having won the toss Coleraine opted to let Bready make first use of a greenish wicket and looked to be in a strong position with Bready struggling on 35 for 3, with Steven Harper taking two early wickets.
However, Coleraine’s bowling lacked discipline throughout the innings, as most of the bowlers struggled to find their line and length. Bready appeared to be heading for a very strong total at 130 for 4, after a fifth wicket stand of 69 between D. Lecky and N. Campbell.
Ammar Malik was to return to the bowling attack, breaking this partnership, and then claiming J Austin shortly after, leaving Bready on 159 for 7, bringing Coleraine back into the game. Steven Harper finished off the Bready innings with a beautiful delivery which was too good for Bready’s number 11, leaving him with figures of 5 for 37.
Bready however, had compiled a very competitive total of 208. At the break Coleraine felt as though they had a very good chance of completing the run chase, and when Jonny Elder and Steven Harper had looked comfortable in reaching 34 for 0 they were looking favourites.
Then disaster struck as four wickets fell for just 5 runs, as first Harper fell LBW to Austin, with Elder, Callum McGregor, and Vischal Chopra falling shortly after to leave Coleraine reeling at 39 for 4. Captain Peter Wallace and Stephen McCartney seemed to have brought Coleraine back into the game, reaching 80 for 4 at drinks.
Then another collapse occurred as a further four wickets were lost for just five runs, leaving Coleraine 85 for 8 and out of the game. Some late resistance from Clive Edgar (11), Rory Knox (22), and Ammar Malik (17) not out carried Coleraine to 142 all out.
It was not the start Coleraine had been hoping for and they realise that much improvement is needed before this Saturday’s game at home to New Buildings.
Saturday 28 April 2012 will go into the history books at Coleraine Cricket Club as the first time the club has fielded a Fourth XI. Taking the field at the Coleraine Inst a young side marshaled by a few experienced players took on near neighbours Drummond at Intermediate IV of the NWCU.
The investment of the club with the school has been paying dividends to both parties for a few years. Expectaion is high for the future of cricket in the town.
Drummond 2nd XI have proved tough opposition to Coleraine sides in the past and Saturdays match was to be no exception. Drummond batted first and despite some strong performances, in particular a fifty from D Carlin, were bowled out in the 39th over for 161. Notable bowling performances came from Varun Chopra 4 for 38, Kyle Markey 2 for 30 and Adrian Toner 2 for 36.
In reply opening pair Michael Bullock (17) and Manza Khawaja (44) put on a good partnership of forty-eight before Bullock was bowled. A succession of quick wickets left the home side struggling until Kyle Markey and Tyrone Graham came together in a stand that looked likely to bring Coleraine home to victory. When both players fell in succession Coleraine were left 9 runs short on 152 all out.
Still, this was a commendable first outing for a young side that augurs well.
As with the third eleven a few years back, this side is on a learning curve. It seems clear, even at this early stage of the campaign that any opposition will take them lightly at their peril. The fourths play away to Sion Mills on Saturday 5 May.