NCU logo
Northern Cricket Union
Charity Registration Number: NIC 106791

NCU Facebook Page
NCU Facebook Page
Gallagher Challenge Cup Semi-Final Round-up

Johnny Morton

CIYMS and North Down will meet in the Gallagher Challenge Cup final later this month after both teams won their respective semi-finals on Sunday.

Defending champions CIYMS recorded a convincing 142-run triumph over CSNI at Stormont while North Down eased past Instonians by seven wickets.

Mark Adair and Shane Matthews - MotM CIYMSCSNI vs CIYMS
After winning the toss and being inserted to bat, CIYMS got off to a solid start through the ever-reliable Chris Dougherty (47) and John Matchett (23) with the opening duo putting on 62 for the first wicket before the latter was caught behind off the bowling of Luke Georgeson (3-46). Georgeson would strike again soon after as Cameron-Dow (0) also edged to wicketkeeper Archie Johnston in the same over.

That brought Jason van der Merwe (45) to the crease and he steadied the ship for the visitors alongside Dougherty, looking in fine early touch, driving through the covers for four off both pace and spin. Their third-wicket partnership had reached 53 when Dougherty – approaching another half-century – tried to reach the landmark in style with a big sweep off Ben Adair (2-29), only to be bowled and leave CIYMS sitting on 117-3 in the 27th over.

They had set the platform for the likes of Mark Adair (29) to come in and attack with the returning Irish international striking five fours in his 26-ball stay at the crease before captain Nigel Jones (55*) and Graham Kennedy (30) pushed their side up to 260-6. It was a memorable weekend for Jones who also scored 84 in a Robinson Services Premier League meeting between the two sides – which CSNI won – on Saturday.

CSNI's chase got off to the worst possible start when Adair (4-23) dismissed Georgeson (4) and four balls later bowled Andrew Cowden (0). Ross Adair (14) – who scored 143* on Saturday – had played some brilliant early strokes, hitting two fours and a straight six before he picked out Jones at mid-off to hand Allen Coulter (1-39) a third CIYMS wicket. Unlike CIYMS who had four partnerships that surpassed 40, CSNI were struggling to put a stand of note together and their biggest of the afternoon (46) was broken when Gary Wilson (18) was trapped lbw by Graham Kennedy (4-34).

Adair and Kennedy combined to kill any chance of CSNI's middle order creating momentum and when Stuart Thompson (42) was stumped by David Miller off the latter, the game was all but over. CSNI finished on 118 all out inside 32 overs with Mark Adair named Man of the Match for his exploits which helped send CIYMS through to a fifth Gallagher Challenge Cup final in the past six seasons.

CIYMS 260-6 (J Matchett 23, C Dougherty 47, J vd Merwe 45, M Adair 29, N Jones 55no, G Kennedy 30, L Georgeson 3-46, B Adair 2-29)
CSNI 118 (S Thompson 42, M Adair 4-23, G Kennedy 4-34)
CIYMS beat CSNI by 142 runs
Man of the Match: Mark Adair (CIYMS)

Aniruddha Chore and Andrew Coates - MotM North DownNorth Down vs Instonians
North Down - the most successful team in the history of the Challenge Cup - are back in a final in front of home support after navigating their way past Instonians at The Green. Batting first, Instonians made 209-9 with quarter-final Man of the Match James Hunter (46) once again putting in an impressive performance while he was well supported by Oliver Metcalfe (35), Shane Getkate (21) and Andrew White (20) before a late cameo from Ben Rose (24*). Peter Davison (3-45) continued his fine 2021 campaign and fellow seamer Tom Mayes (2-38) was also amongst the wickets.

Instonians have an outstanding record of reaching finals in the Challenge Cup in recent times but would have known they faced an uphill task if they were going to make another trying to defend 209 against a talented home batting line-up. Aniruddha Chore (85*) is having a dream first campaign in the NCU and he has gone past fifty in each of his last five innings.

His innings earned him a second Gallagher Man of the Match award and maintains his record of never being dismissed in the Challenge Cup! Chore was backed up by overseas professional Gayan Maneeshan (46) and Peter Eakin (39) as the Comber outfit booked their spot in a first Challenge Cup final since 2012.

It's set to be a cracking encounter between North Down and CIYMS on Friday 13th August with the two sides packed full of quality.

Instonians 209-9 (O Metcalfe 35, J Hunter 46, S Getkate 21, A White 29, B Rose 24no, T Mayes 2-38, P Davison 3-45)
North Down 213-3 (A Shields 20, A Chore 85no, G Maneeshan 46, P Eakin 39, B Rose 2-40)
North Down beat Instonians by 7 wickets
Man of the Match: Aniruddha Chore (North Down)

Gallagher Challenge Cup Match Summaries