Laurelvale target rapid response 
to double defeat

Craig Irwin.
Craig Irwin.

Two defeats inside three days may have disrupted Laurelvale’s trophy push on two fronts but the Section Two fixture list offers an opportunity for immediate redemption.

The Villagers lost out in back-to-back derby dates with Armagh that left Laurelvale out of the Junior Cup at the semi-final stage and having lost ground in the league promotion push.

However, forthcoming fixtures against high-flying Holywood and Drumaness present the perfect chance to get back on track.

The Junior Cup tie - postponed on two previous occasions - featured success for Armagh by 37 runs in the midweek meeting.

Craig Irwin managed to play through the pain barrier in pursuit of a cup final appearance and led the scoring with 46 runs.

Darly Henry and Gary Murphy each posted scores in the high 20s towards Laurelvale’s tally of 144 for seven.

However, Laurelvale struggled with the ball.

The weekend league game was disrupted by rain on a number of ocassions and, ultimately, the Duckworth-Lewis scoring system left Laurelvale with too tough a target.

Armagh reached 183 for eight as Murphy and Henry picked up three wickets apiece.

The Laurelvale reply included a 32 innings by Philip Weir and 23 from Michael Burns in the 69-run reverse.

Laurelvale sit second in the league standings on 32 points off 12 fixtures - with Armagh out in front on 40 points.

“It is unusual for this squad but we did not perform with the ball in the cup semi-final,” said Sinton. “We seem to struggle against Armagh when it comes to bowling for some reason, based on performances this season.

“A few moments did not go our way, including one LBW appeal against Colin Russell but maybe someone else would have come in and scored those same runs anyway.

“There is no point thinking about what could have been and one positive was how we performed with the bat.

“Credit to Craig for pushing on in the semi-final and he was then ruled out of the league match last weekend against Armagh due to injury.”

The second derby reverse left Laurelvale on the backfoot in the league race but with key fixtures on the cards.

“It would be dangerous to let those results knock the wind out of our sails so we must face Holywood then Drumaness with confidence.

“Both games will be important and, thankfully, other results went in our favour last weekend so there is still so much to play for as long as we get back on track.”