Bottom placed Lurgan CC were the visitors to the beautiful Upritchard Park on yet another sunny Saturday. Earlier in the Summer, the Tigers had won the toss and elected to bowl in the T20 Trophy before Chris Burns smashed a blistering hundred; was history to be repeated?
Lurgan called correctly again and rightfully decided to make first use of another Stephen Burns’ special. Their innings got off to a steady start as Grieve and Gibson batted cautiously, perhaps aware that Bangor were missing four key change bowlers in Patterson, Kwelu, Miller and Bates. The batsmen had scored 60 in the 14th over before Prince had Grieve caught behind by the returning McLarnon, for 25.
Rohit Karankkjar, Lurgan’s quasi-professional strode to the wicket with a lot of pressure on his shoulders knowing that his wicket would be crucial if Lurgan were to score a competitive total. Fast forward 148 runs, Karankkjar was bowled by Nixon. Despite his big hundred, the Lurgan score of 250 was certainly not going to intimidate the home-side. Undoubtedly, Rohit would have scored more quickly had another senior batsman stayed with him, but with Messrs Chambers and Johnston contributing a total of 2 runs, this wasn’t the case. Credit must go to the Bangor seamers of Khan, Nixon and Prince who recorded figures of 2-31, 3-27 and 2-39 respectively.
Bangor’s chase got off to the now-customary explosive start as Burns and McCollum found the boundary with regularity. Burns, who had a lean weekend previously, showed his growing maturity by starting in first gear rather than fifth, which was paying dividends. When McCollum was unfortunately bowled around his legs for a well-made 33 in the 16th over, Lurgan sniffed a chance. Within less than 6 overs, number three Nixon and Burns had put on over 50 with Burns now in 3rd gear, and Nixon capitalising on some loose bowling. Another 5 overs passed, and the pair shook on their century stand, as Burns hit lusty blow after lusty blow.
Skipper Burns passed 100 for the 3rd time this season, and second against Lurgan, with a lovely drive off the impressive, albeit wicketless, Gibson. When Burns was dismissed for 133, he had despatched 14 boundaries, as well as 8 huge maximums in a simply brilliant innings. McCusker joined Nixon, who had himself past 50, to knock off the remaining runs within 31 overs to round off an emphatic victory for the Seasiders. Special mention must go to debutant Ben Escott who didn’t take a backward step when Karankkjar was smashing drives to him at mid-off.
After a disappointing weekend previously, Bangor bounced back well which will give them a lot of confidence going into a home fixture against Donaghcloney Mill this Saturday. Once again, all support is greatly appreciated.