Bangor II’s season started last weekend with the visit of Cliftonville Academy II’s, the newly formed club that had risen from the ashes of Cliftonville and Belfast Royal Academy, to Upritchard.
Bangor got a quick wicket at the end of Ross Garratt’s first over after Cliftonville Academy had elected to bat in the 35 over match. Opening bowlers Ross (final figures 6-1-23-1) and Will Simpson (final figures 7-0-39-1) plugged away for the remainder of the first 10 overs with little reward until Will got a wicket at the end of their joint spell to leave the honors relatively even with Cliftonville Academy on 39 for 2.
This wicket saw Rob Hall join Adam Kelso in the middle in what proved to be the key partnership of the day. Both players were soon looking to get after the bowling, after the first change had occurred, and with the surface offering little encouragement for the bowlers both batsmen were soon scoring heavily with, what at times (30 runs in a single over), was an assault on the bowling attack. A number of chances didn’t go to hand but credit has to be given to the pair who added 213 in 23 overs at a run rate of 9.3 before Adam was out in the 33rd over for 90 runs.
Cliftonville Academy finished at 270 for 4 with Rob Hall not out on 117 runs. Within this period Bangor bowlers Iain Chapman (6-1-43-2) and Connor Cox (7-0-37-0) put in good displays given the conditions they faced.
Bangor’s got off to a similar start to Cliftonville Academy reaching 37 in the 10th over but at the expense of one more wicket. The next twenty overs saw a similar acceleration in run rate with Bangor getting to 205 thanks to partnerships of 27 between Will Simpson (21 runs) and Qamar Zaman, 39 between Qamar Zaman (36 runs) and Andy Wood and 66 between Andy Wood and Zack Kerr (36 runs). Qamar and Andy, both debutants for the II’s, both demonstrated powerful stroke play as Andy combined his display with deft cuts to reach 72 before falling in the 31st over.
With the departure of Andy bringing up the 9th wicket the run chase dried up as Bangor saw the match out to bring their final score to 224 for 9 some 46 runs short of their target. Overall a great day’s cricket for the spectators who got to see over 500 runs scored with some promising signs for the season.