Causeway Chronicle

Mixed results as Coleraine men get off to promising start

Coleraine defeated reigning NWCU Longs Supervalu Premier League champions Ardmore on Saturday, but – missing some key players – lost both their BW White Horse Hotel T20 Cup games on Sunday.

Knocking the champs off their perch
Captain Matthew Smyth’s tenure in charge got off to a bright start this weekend as Coleraine started off their league campaign by chasing down 137 for the loss of four wickets on what can only be described as a turgid track
Ardmore skipper Rachit Gaur made 43 for the hosts, but only Haydn Melly (24) and Harry Zimmermann (19) managed to contribute anything else of note in a total of 136.
Scott Campbell was best with the ball for the Bannsiders with figures of 3-32 while Matthew Hutchinson (2-13) and the debuting Lee Ritchie (2-26) also picking up two wickets apiece.
Campbell put in the hard yards with the bat, with his patient 49 not out belying the Red Bull sticker on his bat. The importance of Marcus Poskitt’s 53 ball 20 cannot be understated, while Matthew Smyth batted as if on a whole different pitch altogether during his 28-ball 33, which included three fours and two sixes, including one into the clubhouse.

Both of Coleraine’s T20 matches were impacted by showers that meant both of the targets they set were adjusted by DLS.
Coleraine started brightly against Brigade, with Marcus Poskitt and Craig Averill compiling 60 from 46 balls before Averill was adjudged LBW for 14.
Marcus Poskitt hit five fours and two glorious straight sixes during his 37-ball 46 vigil, with the Coleraine faithful feeling he got bat to a ball that the umpire felt was going unimpeded to the stumps. 
This was as good as it got for Coleraine as they subsided for 110, with Brigade comfortably chasing an adjusted 69 from 12 overs as afternoon showers led to a delay in play.

The best game of the day across the whole of North West saw Glendermott hitting the required two runs to win off the final ball against Coleraine.
Batting first Coleraine made 160-5 in dry conditions, with thanks to a swashbuckling 56 off 35 balls from Marcus Poskitt, inclusive of eight fours and one towering six. 
Craig Averill held the innings together with 42 from 43 and there were cameos from Rory Knox (22*) and Matthew Smyth (19).
Conditions took a turn for the worse at the end of the innings, but play resumed with Glendermott set an adjusted target of 155 from 19 overs. 
Bowling with a wet ball Coleraine were unable to contain Ben Mills whose 43-ball 73 was supported by 52 from Todd Killen as Coleraine lost by the narrowest of margins.

Lots for Coleraine to build from
While disappointed by the T20 losses, Coleraine will be happy to have gotten their league campaign off to a winning start, with several players hitting the ground running, despite the wet weather making any outdoor training impossible until last week.

Captain Matthew Smyth showed his ability to lead by example in taking the game away from Ardmore with the bat and nearly pulling the rabbit out of the hat with the ball in defence of three runs from the final over.
Scott Campbell did Scott Campbell things with bat and ball and Marcus Poskitt scored 122 runs across the three games.
New recruits Lee Ritchie and Craig Averill slotted in seamlessly, Gareth Burns was luckless but tidy in each match and Coleraine and James Bell (2-23) bowled tough over against Glendermott.
The Bannsiders will be looking forward to the arrival of their professional player before they host Newbuildings at Sandel Lodge in their second league game on Saturday, 4th May.
The 40 over match is scheduled to start at midday, with members of the public encouraged to come to the club to support.

Causeway Chronicle

Causeway Chronicle