Photo 14987724 / Cricket © Steve Woods | Dreamstime.com
Victoria bounced back to winning ways, with wins for the 1st and 2nd XIs on Saturday.
Victoria 1st XI travelled to Dunmurry and elected to bowl first, looking to exploit any dampness in the pitch.
Thomas Greenaway struck early with the ball but there were periods of frustration for the bowling side, as pressure built by a lack of scoring shots was released with regular loose or wide deliveries.
Greenaway struck again in his final over to get Victoria back into the game.
The introduction of Bobi Babin brought another wicket but the run rate was a concern as Dunmurry were going at five per over.
Things were to change quickly as Babin struck twice in an over as he and David Gilpin bowled brilliantly in tandem, ripping the heart out of the Dunmurry middle order. Gilpin picked up three wickets of his own, one brilliantly caught on the mid-on boundary by Babin and another the result of a sharp take behind the stumps by Jordan Walsh.
Andrew Gray was introduced to the attack and finished off the tail with two wickets leaving a target of 127 to win.
The Victoria reply got off to a fast start, as Matthew Parks and Robert Black raced to 25 off the first five overs, courtesy of some wayward bowling. The Dunmurry attack was wayward, gifting Victoria numerous extras. This allowed Parks (20) and Black (7) to remain very patient, taking the extra runs on offer.
As the extras dried up, so too did the scoring rate, before back to back boundaries from Parks brought up the 50 partnership for the pair but they departed either side of the drinks break.
Andrew Gray began to anchor the innings, and he was joined after the fall of the third wicket by Jamie Hanna, making his debut.
Victoria passed 100 before Gray (35) was bowled as the spectators hoped that a repeat of last week was not on the cards. Babin came to the crease and eased any nerves as Hanna (10) continued in a calm but productive manner, departing with only two runs required, leaving Babin (11*) to see Victoria across the line.
Victoria 2nd XI took on Dundrum 2nd XI in Lurgan on Saturday afternoon. Victoria lost the toss and were asked to field first on a tricky pitch to bat on, making it look like a good toss to lose.
Ben Johnston and Sammy Irwin shared the new ball and set the tone early, both taking one wicket each and going for less than two runs an over.
With the score 17-2 after 10 overs James McVey and Muzamil Hafiz came on and kept the pressure on; McVey taking 4-31, including three wickets in an over. Ross Cockcroft, returning after injury, cleaned up the tail finishing with 3-5 and bowling Dundrum out for 63. This was Victoria’s best bowling and fielding performance of the season so far.
Josh Woods and Adam Stirling opened the batting and shared a useful 20 run partnership before Victoria lost four quick wickets. Patrick McVey (12) counter attacked, smashing 12 runs from one over which relieved the pressure, before Ben Johnston (4*) and James Mcvey (14*) saw Victoria home with nine overs to spare.
Donaghadee 126 (B. Babin 3-28, D Gilpin 3-26, A Gray 2-16)
Victoria 127-6 (M Parks 20, A Gray 35)
Victoria beat Dunmurry by 4 wickets
Dundrum II 63 (J McVey 4-31, R Cockcroft 3-5)
Victoria II 65-5
Victoria II beat Dundrum II by 5 wickets