After a weekend off, Coleraine 2nds returned to action against Ballyspallen, away on Saturday.
The home team won the toss and elected to bat first on what was a damp morning. The Spallen opening partnership of Kennedy and Crown played very watchfully, successfully seeing off the opening spells of Stephen Hutchinson (1-25) and the returning Andrew Douglas (3-33).
First change bowlers Brian Acheson and Matthew Smyth maintained the disciplined standards that had been set by the opening bowlers, giving the batsmen very few scoring opportunities.
It wasn’t until the 28th over of the innings and introduction of the off spin of Dave Doey (3-24) that Coleraine got their first breakthrough when Crown was clean bowled by Doey for 25.
This lead to a steady fall of wickets and Ballyspallen soon found themselves reeling at 93-4 with Ali Handforth (3-36) also getting in on the action with a few scalps. Ballyspallen were eventually bowled out for 159, with the innings ending in dramatic style thanks to some superb death bowling from Andrew Douglas who polished off the tail with 3 wickets in 4 balls.
The CCC openers strode to the wicket which had now dried out considerably in comparison to the wet conditions earlier in the day.
As a result of the drier wicket the ball nipped about and provided inconsistent bounce. This benefited the Ballyspallen bowlers greatly as they bundled out Coleraine for just 89.
Only Matthew Douglas (34) and Acheson (15) managed double figures with the bat as the visitors fell 70 runs shy of their target.
Team manager, Nigel Barr, speaking from his apartment in Treviso, Italy was debriefed over the phone and was very disappointed to hear the news.
“I must say I didn’t expect that result today boys, but it does sound like Spallen were at a huge advantage batting first,” he said.
“I still maintain that we have a good side, a very good side and there is no doubt in my mind that you’ll bounce back tomorrow against North Fermanagh. Arrivederci.”
Always a good judge of a cricket match, Barr’s prediction was spot on as Coleraine stormed to a nine wicket victory against North Fermanagh on Sunday at Sandel Lodge.
Fermanagh chose to bat first and with the combination of the glorious sunshine and a good wicket this seemed like a good choice. It was a short lived innings from Fermanagh who were skittled out for 49 with opening bowler Andrew Douglas back to his best with figures of 4-16.
In reply Coleraine took just 8.1 overs to knock off the runs required with Paul Douglas scoring the majority of the runs with a stylish 34 not out.