Sandy Bay men on the up after promotion

Gareth Alexander notched 329 runs for Larne Cricket Club this season.

Gareth Alexander notched 329 runs for Larne Cricket Club this season.

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Another cricket season has come to an end and it has proved to be a successful one for Larne Cricket Club as the 1st XI were promoted to Section 2 of the Ulster Bank League while the 2nd XI maintained their position in Junior League 8.

Captain Chris Dempsey led the team straight back up as they finished runners-up to Cregagh. Indeed Cregagh were the only team to beat Larne in the league all season as they won all 14 league games. Larne won 11, and drew one of their other 12 games.

The batting was led by Gareth Alexander whose 329 runs took him past the 6,000 mark for the club and his four half centuries took his tally up to 40. Chris Keenan topped the averages with 66.25 in his seven innings, which included three not-outs, three half-centuries and a top score of 80 not-out. There were also excellent contributions by Jonny Baxter, playing in his final season, Cameron Ruys, and Chris and Trevor Dempsey ensuring the lower order was rarely required. However, there was a match-winning 34 not-out from Neil Campbell to ensure victory in a tight match at Dunmurry.

On the bowling front Aaron McKinley was the leading wicket taker. He bowled with pace and was able to get early wickets to allow the spinners to control the middle of the innings. Willy Graham was also impressive the pair will hopefully form a potent new ball pair next season.

Spinners Dempsey and Gareth Gaw didn’t get their usual volume of wickets but Gaw kept the runs down while Alexander, Baxter and Darren Stanton all weighed in with important wickets. Young players Rees Weatherhead and Jack Mitchell came into the side at the end of the season and look comfortable at first-team level.

The 2nd XI finished mid-table in Junior League 8 and reached the semi-final of the Minor Qualifying Cup.

Larne CC’s AGM is set for October 1st at 7.30 pm.