bcc badge resize  Ballymena 1st XI v Saintfield 1st XI  saintfield cc

1st May 2017, Eaton Park

Ballymena Cricket Club 1st XI made an emphatic statement in their opening fixture at home to Saintfield, winning by 228 runs.

On a glorious May-day, the side’s new Captain Stephen Colgan won the toss and elected to bat. He immediately set about leading from the front, in a 55-run opening partnership with Jack Gibson.

After Gibson fell for 21, Colgan and Glass forged a magnificent partnership worth over 200 runs.

Both players made centuries – the first time in the history of Ballymena CC that two players have made centuries in the same day. Colgan fell while trying to hit out after reaching 103, while Glass was eventually bowled for a sublime, near-chanceless 120.

The Ballymena innings closed on a colossal 318 after some late hitting from Matthew Dick, who made 24.

A weak Saintfield team, surely intimidated by such a huge target, could only muster 90 in reply.

Ballymena’s veteran opening bowler Michael Glass set the tone for the Braidmen, taking 2 wickets for just 5 runs off 7 overs. He was ably supported by Matthew Purse, who took 2-22 off 6 overs, running into a strong breeze.

Simon McDowell also took two wickets, while Jack Gibson and Andy Craig took one apiece.

The Braidmen will surely be encouraged by such a strong result, as they seek to bounce back from last year’s relegation. Indeed, there are a great many positives to be taken from the team’s performance.

The side fielded superbly, and showed character to finish the game off in such a clinical fashion. In addition, Eaton Park itself looked in terrific shape – and credit must go to George Glass and Hector Deane for all their hard work in the off-season.

However the single biggest positive has to be John Glass’s man-of-the-match performance with the bat. In reaching his first senior hundred aged just 16, John batted with maturity, confidence and skill – suggesting he may be a force to be reckoned with this season!

The side’s next fixture is against Donaghadee, and captain Colgan can only hope for more of the same from his men!