Two wins in three days as Laurelvale post the perfect start to Section Two

Laurelvale have enjoyed a positive start to the season.
Laurelvale have enjoyed a positive start to the season.

Laurelvale have enjoyed the perfect start to this season’s Section Two thanks to two wins inside three days.

The Villagers finished frustrated last year as run-rate calculations prevented Laurelvale from securing promotion out of Section Two.

The desire to seal a top-two finish this season remains a driving force and captain David Sinton considers the enhanced focus on show key to defeats of Templepatrick and Cooke Collegians.

The ’Vale enjoyed a five-wicket triumph over highly-rated Templepatrick - with Sinton moving beyond the half-century mark.

Craig Irwin and Stuart McClelland took control to steer Laurelvale home.

Jeff Haire finished with two wickets for 18 and Daryl Henry’s reward arrived at the loss of 14.

The Cooke fixture offered a second success as Laurelvale moved past the 168 target for the loss of just four wickets.

Philip Weir, Chris Webb and Gary Murphy posted over 20 runs apiece - with Henry and Irwin each on 40 not out.

Strong work with the ball left Michael Burns having collected three wickets for 36, with Henry and Haire on two each in the six-wicket success.

“There is a sense that we want to prove our ability this season after how everything finished last year with missing out on promotion,” said Sinton. “We had a few great days and excellent start to the season.

“With the exception of maybe 10 overs on Saturday, everything has gone well and we have managed the game situations really well.

“We displayed a maturity to close out the Templepatrick match which may not have always been there in the past and against Cooke it was an assured win.

“Our fielding has been really positive, especially for this time of the year, with choices overall very encouraging.

“Players have been picking moments and not rushing anything to take unnecessary risks.

“Results will help confidence and build momentum.”

Laurelvale face a free weekend due to a cup bye.

“It is a shame we do not have another game this weekend but most did not finish two games over the holiday weekend so at least we have that under our belts,” said Sinton. “It is a tight division, with sides adding to the squads and play expected to prove tight over the season.

“That is why we are happy to have those early wins on the table as something to build on moving forward.

“You want to get a run of wins established then see how everything develops but the place is buzzing.”