Scoreboard success with both bat and ball to wrap up victory

Mark Thornbury and his Laurelvale team-mates have enjoyed a bright start to this season's Section Two programme.INPT24-611
Mark Thornbury and his Laurelvale team-mates have enjoyed a bright start to this season's Section Two programme.INPT24-611

Laurelvale produced strong starts across two fronts to claim success over Cregagh on Sunday by 103 runs.

Free-scoring opening spells with the bat and wicket-laden bowling combined to push the Villagers into a winning position overall.

David Sinton’s players now sit joint second in the Section Two standings alongside Holywood behind Cliftonville.

Philip Weir, David Sinton, Stuart McClelland and Daryl Henry shared the leading runs.

Henry picked up three wickets for the loss of 31 runs with the ball and Muhammad Ajmal reached three at the expense of just nine.

“We put on decent partnerships across the early wickets and then looked strong on the bowling front,” said Sinton, the Laurelvale captain. “It was probably one of the best bowling performances for some time and we now have a really strong attack.

“There is plenty of variation and improved strength-in-depth now, which makes a big difference.

“In better conditions we would have hoped for a score of 200 runs but did well to reach 169 having lost the toss and gone in first on a wicket suited to Cregagh’s bowlers.

“Cregagh have a young and talented group but we set about our task well overall and worked a strong position to get the win.

“We limited our extras and the only downside came with a few dropped catches.

“Our bowling really ripped the heart out of Cregagh and it was great to see our guys choke and squeeze with such success.”

Laurelvale will continue the pursuit of league points tomorrow (Saturday) away to Templepatrick in Section Two.

The Twenty20 Shield semi-final against Cliftonville was scheduled to take place yesterday (Thursday).

Laurelvale’s Adam Speers has spent this week on tour in Denmark with the NCU under 15s’ select squad.

The five-day trip included two 50-over fixtures and a Twenty20 match.