NCU Section Three leaders Larne had a major scare on Saturday when they slumped to 52-6 chasing 113 against Dunmurry, only for Neil Campbell to ride to the rescue with an innings that ensured a four-wicket victory.
Larne were missing six regulars which meant skipper Chris Dempsey had to play the day after having a cast on his broken hand removed. He lost the toss with Dunmurry electing to bat first.
Larne made the perfect start when Gareth Alexander and Aaron McKinley took a wicket each, leaving the home side struggling on 4-2, but there were no more wickets until the over before drinks.
Alexander conceded just six runs in his five overs while McKinley struggled with his line. They were replaced by Gareth Gaw and Charlie Cloke who was handed his first bowl for the Firsts. Gaw made the breakthrough and after 20 overs Dunmurry were fairly well set on 66-3.
Wickets started to tumble after drinks with Gaw picking up two more before Cloke got his wicket when Zach Weatherhead took a safe catch.
When Campbell affected a superb run-out and Stanton struck with the second ball of his spell, Dunmurry had been reduced to 84-8 but batted for 13 overs and got the score up to 112.
Stanton bowled seven overs for 11, but it was Dempsey who took the final two wickets, both caught-and-bowled.
Larne lost their first six wickets for just 52 runs. Rab McClean nicked through to the keeper, while Alexander was caught at slip. Chris and Trevor Dempsey steadied the ship before they were both dismissed, caught-and-bowled. Stanton and Weatherhead followed, leaving Larne in real danger of defeat.
Step forward Campbell who finished unbeaten on 34, showing what he can do when the pressure is on. He was well supported by Gaw who was happy to take a back seat and batted very sensibly to finish with 11 not-out.
On Saturday Larne host unbeaten Cregagh in a match they must win to keep their title chances alive. Larne Seconds take on Ballymena in the semi-final of the Minor Qualifying Cup.
Dunmurry 112 (G Gaw 3-28).
Larne 113-6 (N Campbell 34 not-out).