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Cricket: First win gives St Johnston’s fighting chance of survival in top flight

St Johnston's Kushpal Singh.

St Johnston’s Kushpal Singh.

BY CHRIS MCNULTY

ST Johnston gave themselves a real fighting chance of survival in the Premiership of the North West Cricket League on Saturday as the Donegal club scored an 87-run win over Ardmore.

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The step into the top flight had been a difficult and challenging experience for Ian Macbeth’s side before then, but they finally scored a first win of the campaign last weekend – and their first top-flight home win at the Railway Road since 1993.

Batting first, St Johnston managed to score a rare 200+ total, the hosts reaching 206 in the 50 overs.

Young Michael Rankin hit 71 before he was caught by Decker Curry off the bowl of Ciaran McDermott and opener Andrew Fleming landed 45 in a very useful partnership. David Macbeth was 41 not out in the other of St Johnston’s top displays with the bat.

Chasing the 206 total, Ardmore will have been relatively pleased with their start. St Johnston wicket keeper Kevin Martin – a former Ardmore player – put Paul McDowell out with a smart, sharp stumping for 15, but even that seemed little threat.

When Peter Harrigan and Forster Mutizwa took Ardmore to 77-1, St Johnston sensed danger.

However, Harrigan was caught by Ian Macbeth off Andrew Fleming’s toss and he came off the bowling in that over with 2-2, also accounting for Ryan Brolly, who was caught by Nathan Cole.

Ardmore’s last seven wickets tumbled for just 17 more runs with David Anthony and Kushpal Singh doing the bulk of the damage with the ball.

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The win leaves St Johnston on two points, the same as Strabane, Ardmore and Bready. This Saturday, they’re away to third-placed Brigade.

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