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Gallagher Challenge Cup Quarter-Final Round-up

Jonny Morton  

CIYMS batsman Ross Adair stole the headlines once again as he bludgeoned 186 to help the defending Gallagher Challenge Cup champions seal serene progression to another semi-final berth with a 142-run win over Instonians.

Adair, who joined the Belmont club from CSNI during the winter, has made an immediate impact and recorded a second century of the season against the Shaws Bridge side with 146 of his runs on Saturday coming via boundaries – 14 fours and 15 trademark maximums.

Sharing partnerships of 108 and 155 with Chris Dougherty (22) and John Matchett (67) respectively during a blistering two hour, 135-ball stay at the crease, Adair set the platform for CI to post a mammoth 367/6 which was finished off in style by captain Nigel Jones (51*).

The 28-year-old's brutal ball-striking has come off with remarkable consistency this season, scoring 484 runs in six innings across the Robinson Services Premier League and Gallagher Challenge Cup at a strike-rate of almost 122.

74% of that run tally to date has come directly from boundaries, giving an insight into Adair's mindset and intentions, and not many other batsmen in the region have the ability to do what he does, how he does it.

He also picked up figures of 2-49 as Instonians finished on 225/9 after contributions from Cade Carmichael (61), James Hunter (38) and skipper Andrew White (34) as Graeme Kennedy (3-33) starred with the ball to help limit their opponents.

Derriaghy created a bit of history by progressing to their first ever Challenge Cup semi-final after Morne Venter (81*) inspired them to a tense two-wicket victory at Cregagh.

Curtis Moorhead's men are the first Section One side to book their spot in the last four since Downpatrick in 2014 and it was club legend Craig Lewis (5-34) that played a key role in bowling their Premier League opponents out for 214, despite a half-century from Sathish Suresh (58).

The visitors were in early trouble as Ross Boultwood (4-32) struck to leave Derriaghy sitting on 35/3, but Venter then found support in the shape of Lewis (25) before a crucial knock from Aaron Kinnin (43) helped seemingly set up a routine victory.

Cregagh didn't lie down and continued to take wickets to set up a nervy finish, but as long as Venter was at the crease Derriaghy were considered favourites, and they got over the line with five overs to spare.

Another surprise result came at Wallace Park as 26-time champions Waringstown were knocked out by Lisburn as Faiz Fazal (77) helped the Premier League leaders triumph by a margin of four wickets.

Graham Hume (60) and Greg Thompson (44) had earlier put on a partnership of 84 that was the backbone to Waringstown's total of 188/7 before the former kicked off their defence in perfect fashion by collecting the early wickets of Adam Berry and Neil Whitworth to leave the home side reeling at 27/3.

David Miller (26) helped steady the ship alongside Fazal but when both were dismissed within 33 runs of each other, it was left to Glenn Halliday (28*) – who has been Lisburn's unsung hero of the season – to get the job done in the 49th over.

2016 champions CSNI make up the final four after they convincingly beat Carrickfergus by 142 runs (DLS) at Stormont.

New Zealander duo Luke Georgeson (63) and Troy Johnson (78) played starring roles before a quickfire 43 from captain Stuart Thompson pushed the home side up to 244/7.

Carrick's reply was never allowed to really get going as Jeremy Lawlor (9) was bowled by Northern Knights team-mate Matthew Foster (4-23) before the pacer also collected the prize wicket of Jacques Snyman (5).

CJ van der Walt (32) and Craig Averill (24) combined to put on 50 for the fourth wicket but it went rapidly downhill from there as Carrick collapsed from 70-3 to 103 all out as Johnson (3-11) capped off yet another superb all-round display.

Gallagher Challenge Cup


Gallagher Player of the
Match Winners

Ross Adair and Michael McClaverty

Troy Johnson and Jenny McDonald

Faiz Fasal and Catherine Millar

Morne Venter and Paddy Grimes