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Instonians Under 11's win Quoile Cup

Brian Walsh  

Despite damp and gloomy overhead conditions at Queensway (Derriaghy CC), the Instonians team recorded a comprehensive 9-wicket victory over a battling Lisburn side on Thursday 2nd August.

Lisburn won the toss, choosing to bat first and get runs on the board - often key in youth finals. Openers Neel Reddy and Jack Mulholland started confidently against an opening attack of spin and pace from Michael Hollway and Max Willmott. The score progressed to 22 without loss after 5 overs. The introduction of Amy Hunter's pace proved challenging, but it was Ben McCausland who benefitted from the batsmen's caution, clean bowling both openers in quick succession. Instonians were buzzing in the field, led by Ben and 'keeper Darcy Donnelly who kept superbly. Ben produced a quality spell outlining him as an all-round star of the future.

Charlie Gray and Rob Henderson were building a decent partnership before Ben Walsh claimed a vital breakthrough bowling Rob. Ben has a knack of taking wickets at key points in games and bowled with lovely flight and variation. With the score on 43-3 after 11 overs, the introduction of Will Park into the attack proved to be a shrewd move by skipper Ben, claiming the wickets of Jake Larmour and Harry Moore.  Will bowled Harry with the quickest ball of the day, beating him for pace.

Lisburn were now losing wickets at regular intervals but with the powerful Charlie Gray still at the crease, the threat remained that he could open his shoulders. Luke Crothers was introduced into the attack and straight away found good areas. He partnered with the returning Max Willmott who steamed down the hill. Max is arguably the most improved bowler in Under 11 cricket this year and he underlined this by bowling Charlie for a good 22. Tight death bowling by this pair restricted the scoring opportunities with Luke claiming the wicket of Jude Barnes. The innings closed on 74-7. A disciplined display in the field, along with a determined batting display by Lisburn.

In reply, Instonians openers Michael Hollway and Will Park continued their recent good form, moving the score along nicely against the opening attack of Neel Reddy and Charlie Gray. Neel claimed the breakthrough Lisburn needed by bowling Michael Hollway with the score on 23 in the 5th over. Ben McCausland and Will batted with confidence, running well and mostly keeping the ball on the deck. The Lisburn change bowlers struggled to find good areas consistently.  This pairing kept their composure and when Will struck the winning runs, they had accumulated an undefeated partnership of 52. A superb innings by Will who is growing in confidence with Ben showing his versatility to adapt to the task in hand, hitting gaps for 1's and 2's. A proper captain's innings.

An older and physically bigger Lisburn side showed great determination and fighting spirit. It just wasn't to be their day after their excellent semifinal win against CSNI.

Thanks to Stevie Hanna for umpiring and to Davy Skelton of Derriaghy CC for hosting superbly and it was great to see such a big crowd at an Under 11 final!

Lisburn 74-7 (C Gray 22, M Willmott 1-12, B McCausland 2-17, B Walsh 1-9, W Park 2-8, L Crothers 1-7)
Instonians 75-1 (W Park 26no, B McCausland 22no, N Reddy 1-11)
Instonians beat Lisburn by 9 wickets

Photos of the evening from Brian Walsh