Carrick come out on top in local derby
LARNE Cricket Club Third XI lost to neighbours Carrick on Sunday.
With both teams safe in NCU Division 3 Section III the match, at Middle Road, was a local derby with only club honour at stake.
Larne’s experienced captain, Esler Burke, lost the toss and his opposite number, Alex Adams, had no hesitation in batting first.
Timmy Evans and Richard Hood opened the Larne attack with Evans in excellent form. Indeed, it looked as though Carrick had a made a mistake in batting as Evans got rid of Carrick opener Phil Ritchie, excellently caught by Larne wicket-keeper, Michael Waterman, and number 3 Gavin Richards, clean bowled, in the opening over leaving Carrick on 0 for 2.
Hood then got among the wickets when he bowled Gordon Creighton in the sixth over. This brought together Rodney Harrington and the other Carrick opener, the captain Alex Adams. This pair set about building a solid base for the Carrick innings as Larne failed to make another breakthrough.
Harrington was riding his luck as he skied a number of chances to the Larne fielders, who failed to take advantage. After scoring an excellent 43, he was eventually caught on the deep mid-wicket boundary by Zach Weatherhead.
Michael McIlroy came in at number five and, together with Adams, they showed great experience as they picked off the Larne attack.
Jonathan Hodge and Jithin Kuriakose were the Larne first change bowlers with Hodge’s slow left arm spin proving to be very effective.
Kuriakose was struggling to find the right length and the Carrick batsmen took full advantage of some poor deliveries.
Kuriakose was replaced by Zach Weatherhead who, together with Hodge, limited the scoring to four runs per over.
Aaron McKinley replaced Weatherhead but he too struggled to find the right length as Carrick continued to exploit any poor deliveries.
With Larne struggling to stem the flow of runs or to take another wicket, they turned again to the openers Evans and Hood. This did the trick as Evans had Adams caught excellently by Neill Campbell at point for 40, this was just after Hood had McIlroy removed, caught, for 43.
With two new batsmen at the crease the Larne team was hopeful of limiting to Carrick to less than 150. Davy Wight was unlucky to be bowled by an excellent delivery from Evans that deflected off his bat to remove his off stump.
Stuart Jackson was next to go when Hood had him trapped leg before wicket after scoring 8. Adam Fittis came in at number nine and looked in good touch.
Cameron McClurkin was the Carrick number nine but he was cleaned bowled by Hood without scoring.
As the Carrick total passed 150 with nine wickets down, Fittis and his number 11 partner, Matt Campbell, proved obstinate as Larne failed to take the last Carrick wicket.
Larne worked hard in the field and the bowlers were well supported with Esler Burke, Jonathan Crooks and John Hood saving some runs but the Larne team was unable to limit the Carrick run scoring.
With the Carrick score on 178 for 9 after their allotted the 40 overs the innings ended leaving Larne to chase a massive total.
After the interval, Larne set about chasing down their total. Opening batsmen Jonathan Hodge and Zach Weatherhead looked as though they could build a match winning partnership but Hodge was first to go when he was caught off Michael McIlroy for 15. Weatherhead soon followed when McIlroy bowled him for 29.
This brought together Michael Waterman and Timmy Evans. Gavin Richards struck to get rid of Evans with the Larne score on 52 for 3. Richard Hood was in at five and rotated the strike with Waterman and keeping the scoreboard ticking over. McIlroy bowled Hood for 17.
Neil Campbell was then was caught off his namesake Matt for just six runs and this led to a Larne middle-order collapse.
Jonathan Crooks and Jithin Kuriakose could not play the Carrick spinner Adam Fittis, and both were out bowled without scoring.
Michael Waterman was out in the most bizarre way when, after he had pulled Fittis to the leg-side for a certain two, he trod on his stumps and was out, hit wicket, for 11.
Larne had now collapsed to 89 for 8 and the writing was on the wall. Esler Burke and Aaron McKinley put on 18 runs for the ninth wicket and this took the Larne score into three figures.
Burke was keen to score more quickly but was caught off Richards for 10 leaving McKinley and John Hood as the tenth wicket partnership. This pairing was determined to occupy the crease for as long as possible taking any runs that were on offer.
In the 35th over, with the Larne score on 133 for 9, McKinley on 10 and Hood on 21, Carrick finally broke the last partnership when Matt Campbell had Hood caught at cover by Harrington, meaning Carrick won the match by 45 runs.
The match ball was very kindly sponsored by Neill Home Consultants.
On Sunday, Larne Thirds complete their league campaign when they entertain CIYMS IIIs in a re-arranged fixture at Sandy Bay