Millpark returned to Banford Green after a successful weekend away hoping to maintain their unbeaten league home record and consolidate their position at the top of Section 3.
Unfortunately things did not go according to plan.
On a surface which looked like it might break up in the second innings, Millpark were keen to have a bat but once again the skipper’s terrible luck at the toss continued and opponents Newforge elected to bat first.
Stu McCart and Davy Glover took the new ball but failed to make inroads although not helped by a couple of dropped catches.
It was the introduction of last Saturday’s man of the match David Maxwell and 14 year old Harry Lockhart, which broke the opening partnership. Both were the pick of the bowlers on the day with Lockhart 2-13 from his four overs and Maxwell 2-20 from his eight.
Newforge batted with intent throughout and Millpark created plenty of chances but didn’t always take them with a performance in the field reminiscent of the defeat at Monaghan.
Davy Glover, Paul McCart and Jason Maxwell all picked up two wickets each but all went for four an over. At one stage, Millpark looked like restricting Newforge to 120 but too many boundary balls and a wagging of the Newforge tail meant Millpark would be chasing 152. The target would be tricky one, on a pitch which was already beginning to show signs of wear and uneven bounce.
Fresh from his explosive display at Cooke Collegians, Adeel Tahir opened the batting with the skipper Paul McCart. However, there were to be no fireworks this week as he was first to go for four.
Glover joined McCart at the crease and dug in against accurate bowling before a frustrated Glover was well caught at slip for four. Ben Talbot was next to go for one and Millpark were suddenly in trouble.
The pressure was now on McCart to bat through but he was unfortunate to be caught playing a defensive shot to a ball that popped for 16. Worse was to follow as Jason Maxwell did the exact same thing two deliveries later. With the heart ripped out of Millpark’s batting and drinks not yet taken, defeat looked imminent.
The rest of the Millpark batsmen also found scoring runs a struggle with John Simpson hitting a large six near the end, the only thing Millpark could cheer, as they were eventually bundled out for 84.
While last week at Cooke Collegians was the side’s best performance, this was on par with the Monaghan game as the worst.
Although that takes nothing away from Newforge who were by far the better side on the day. Millpark will need to bat much better, hold their catches and cut out the boundary balls if they are to get back to winning ways at Donaghadee next weekend.