The season started in inauspicious style for the 3rd XI in their Junior 5 league match against Cooke Collegians. With the arrival of a number of players delayed, and losing the toss, the home side started the match with just 8 players on the field and despite bowling and fielding manfully, the visitors quickly took advantage of the many gaps to pile on the runs. The arrival of the missing players helped to stem the flow and although wickets began to fall steadily, the damage had been done and the visitors finished on an impressive total of 231 runs for the loss of 7 wickets. The highlight of the bowling saw Dean Gordon take 4 wickets for 49 runs with a particularly productive second spell.
Adding to the home side’s woes, young Euan Watt was injured while bowling, when bravely attempting a very difficult return catch and could play no further part in the match. This was a big disappointment as he was finding a good rhythm at the time and was the most economical bowler.
In reply, Ballymena was always up against it and despite a steady start from the openers, the innings never really got going. Only an explosive 46 from Campbell caused any concern for the visitors and Ballymena finished 148 all out, 83 runs short.
The 3rd XI’s next match is a repeat fixture, this time in the cup, where Ballymena will be hoping for better fortune and the prospect of a lengthy cup run.