Busy week brings mixed set of results for Larne Seconds

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Larne Seconds enjoyed a mixed set of results during a busy week of cricket. Firstly they recorded a narrow nine-run victory over Donacloney in a mid-week Twenty20 league game at Sandy Bay.

Opener Derek McKinley took full advantage of the perfect sunny conditions and fine pitch to score exactly 50 with seven sweet boundaries. He was ably supported by Phil Mawhinney and Trevor Dempsey as Larne finished on an impressive 119-5 from their 20 overs.

Opening bowlers Aaron McKinley and Jithin Kuriakose gave the home side a perfect start as they picked up a wicket apiece during an impressive spell of fast bowling. Mike Lyle and Zach Wetherhead then reduced Donacloney to 64-6 before a late rally saw them finish on 111-6 and leave Larne comfortable victors.

On Saturday Larne travelled to Eaton Park, Ballymena for the semi-final of the Minor Qualifying cup. Once again Derek McKinley was the star performer with the bat as he smashed an unbeaten 75 not-out. He hit eight fours and one memorable six over extra-cover during his fantastic knock.

Skipper Robert McClean then weighed in with a quick-fire 30 before Barry McFaul smashed 14 late runs as Larne posted a superb 163-3 from their allotted 30 overs.

Lyle and Kuriakose then both produced excellent economical opening spells to give Larne a fine start.

The home side managed just 24-1 from the first 10 overs but then regrouped with a vital second-wicket partnership of 90.

After 21 overs, Ballymena had raced to 91-1 and were seemingly well placed for victory. The introduction of Ken McKinley though swung the game back towards Larne. Three wickets fell in two overs, including two run-outs, to leave Ballymena needing 37 from the final 30 balls with just four wickets remaining.

Sadly for Larne the game was to take another twist as several difficult catches were now put down on the field. The young Larne side narrowly failed to make the final as their opponents managed to produce a crucial match-winning seventh-wicket partnership of 37. Ballymena eventually reached their target with just four balls and four wickets remaining.

The side were back in the field for the third time in eight days when they entertained Muckamore on Sunday at Sandy Bay. Larne posted 113 from their 30 overs. Muckamore cruised to 75-1 before impressive young seam bowlers Jack Campbell and Reece Wetherhead both picked up wickets.

Larne were only able to pick up two more late wickets to leave Muckamore victorious by four wickets.