Baxter and Dempsey help Larne cruise to win

Chris Dempsey, seen here bowling for Larne, scored 43 runs in Saturday's win over Donaghadee.

Chris Dempsey, seen here bowling for Larne, scored 43 runs in Saturday's win over Donaghadee.

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Larne 1st XI got back to winning ways on Saturday thanks to a comprehensive eight-wicket win at Donaghadee.

This rearranged match was reduced to 20 overs and skipper Chris Dempsey was happy to bowl first when the home team elected to bat.

Although a hot and sunny day, the pitch had a spongy feel to it and it was unclear what would represent a good score.

Willy Graham took the new ball and quickly removed both openers in a superb three-over burst which cost just five runs as he held one over back for bowling at the death.

Aaron McKinley bowled his four overs through and conceded just 15 runs.

Gareth Gaw bowled with his usual control, taking his first wicket of the season when Gareth Alexander took a safe catch on the boundary.

Donaghadee had reached just 30-3 after 10 overs but number three Cunningham really went for the spin of Dempsey and Jonny Baxter and hit three big sixes and a decent total appeared to be on the cards.

However, Baxter got his revenge when Dempsey took a good running catch on the boundary and Larne took control again.

Alexander bowled three excellent overs at the end and took 2-4 thanks to catches from Dempsey and Eddie Hunter. Graham wrapped things up when he took three wickets in his final over to finish with remarkable figures of 5-8. One of these was an athletic diving catch by Eddie Wilson which typified Larne’s efforts in the field and Donaghadee were restricted to a total of 95.

Larne’s run-chase couldn’t have got off to a worse start when Alexander and Hunter were both dismissed lbw, but there were no more alarms as Baxter and Dempsey saw Larne cruise past the target with five overs remaining. They batted sensibly to begin but once the score got past 40 it was plain sailing as they rattled the runs off in quick time. Baxter hit one six over long-on to finish unbeaten on 36.

Dempsey was aggressive from the start and was especially strong on the pull and sweep, smashing two big sixes over deep mid-wicket to finish unbeaten on 43.

Donaghadee 95 (W Graham 5-8)

Larne 96-2 (C Dempsey 43 no, J Baxter 36 no).

This Saturday (June 7) sees Larne take on newcomers Monaghan.