The heroics of last season’s promotion-winning campaign long gone, Larne Cricket Club’s 1st XI will be playing in Section 3 in 2014 after defeat at home to Saintfield in a rearranged 20-over match on Sunday.
Skipper Gareth Gaw lost the toss and Larne were put in to bat on a damp pitch after heavy weekend rain.
The home side were able to post a total of 101-5 in their 20 overs thanks to good innings from Gareth Alexander and Cameron Ruys who made 48 and 31 respectively. For Larne, it felt like a decent score as Saintfield bowled with great accuracy and set smart fields to ensure boundaries were at a premium.
It took Saintfield until the penultimate over to chase down the score but they lost only one wicket in the process and were never in any danger.
The Larne bowling was good for the most part, but inconsistency was the problem and every time they looked like building any pressure it was released with a bad ball that was hit for four or six.
It was Chris Dempsey who claimed the only wicket, thanks to a good catch by Aaron McKinley.
The defeat leaves Larne with four wins from 17 games and one win behind Academy. However, with Academy’s superior net run-rate, even a win from the last game won’t be enough to keep Larne in the Northern Cricket Union’s Section 2.
Larne 101-5 (G Alexander 48, C Ruys 31, G Harrison 3-10).
Saintfield 102-1 (18.5 overs, G Harrison 55no, B Woodruff 26no).
Saintfield beat Larne by nine wickets