Last Thursday evening, Bangor hosted neighbours Holywood, in a rematch of the previous Saturday’s league encounter when Bangor took the honours, for the T20 Trophy Semi Final which was to be the first game of 3 in just 4 days.
Having again won the toss, the visitors captain Jordan Wilson, this time had no hesitation in electing to bat. The Bangor bowlers, Khan (2-17) and Nixon (3-18) soon had the upper hand with the first 4 batsmen back in the pavilion with the score on just 22 in the 5th over. When the dangerous Adair was caught behind off the bowling of Khan, the visitors looked in big trouble.
This brought together Haire and Anderson to once again steady the Holywood ship. Haire carried his bat for a fine half century and was instrumental in taking the score to 108. Bangor struggled against the tight Holywood bowling to build any worthwhile partnerships and with regular wickets falling were soon starring down the barrel with the score on 82 for 8 in the 17th over.
The fall of the 8th wicket brought together Prince and Miller to try and rescue the game for Bangor. What happened next can only be described as probably one of the most bizarre finishes to a cricket match anyone could ever imagine.
Intelligent batting and a couple of lusty blows saw the 2 put on 26 to tie the scores on 108 with 3 balls to go. As Bangor had lost 1 less wicket than Holywood, the equation was simple, survive the final 3 balls or get a single. 2 dot balls were then followed by something that simply left everyone in the ground speechless.
The final ball was hit, clearing the inner field and the 2 Bangor batsmen set off for the winning run only to start the celebrations before actually completing the run. Holywood, alert to the situation, proceeded to run-out the home sides batsman, a tie! A Super Over to decide the game. Batting first, Bangor managed 10 and the unenviable task was left to Andy Nixon to defend the 10 runs. Adair took just 4 balls to hit the winning runs for a win for the visitors.
Saturday saw the first of 2 away fixtures to 2 of the in form sides Lisburn and Downpatrick. Wallace Park looked resplendent in the warm summer sunshine. The home side won the toss and elected to bat. Again the Bangor opening bowlers did their job (Khan 3-54) and when change bowlers Kwelu and Bates joined the attack there was still no let up and the home side were soon 4 down for 61 in the 15 over.
This brought together Simpson and M Berry who proceeded to put on 82 for the 5th wicket and when the latter was out to a Prince wicket, Simpson was joined by Halliday. A fine partnership of 115 took the total to 270 for 7 at the close.
Not unobtainable but the visitors would need to be at their best if they were to successfully chase this total against the strong Lisburn bowling attack. A flurry of runs at the top of the innings from skipper Burns (26) and Wood (33 no) at the tail were the only resistance against the accurate bowling of Simpson (6-42) and M Berry (3-41). The Bangor innings closed on 100, someway short losing by 170 runs.
Strangford Road, Downpatrick was the venue for Bangor’s 3rd game in just 4 days. Winning the toss, Bangor had no hesitation chosing the bat first on what looked like a dry, cracking wicket. Runs were indeed hard to come by with only McCollum (27), Khan (23) and Nixon (35) sort of mastering the difficult conditions. Wickets fell regularly and Bangor did well to post a competitive score of 167 on the difficult batting surface.
Needing to bowl at the top of their game, Khan soon had the home side in disarray taking the first 3 wickets for just 12 runs. This saw Smyth 70no) and Acocks come together to mount an assault on the wayward Bangor bowling, Smyth in particular punishing anything short. McCollum had Acocks stumped for 26 however this brought C Boultwood (41no) to the middle to join Smyth and the 2 proceeded to quickly knock off the winning runs.
Downpatrick won by 6 wickets.
This Saturday (7th July) sees the action return to Upritchard Park and the visit of league strugglers Lurgan.