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Firsts set up County Cup semi-final after unbelievable win over holders Furness

Carlisle staged a thrilling fight back to secure an unlikely, 11-run win over holders Furness in the County Cup at Edenside and make it through to the semi-finals.
Having lost the toss, the home side could muster only 86-9 from their 40 overs on a pitch that just the day before had been battered by more than 24-hours of near incessant rain.
For that, Carlisle had a doughty 31 from professional Michael Slack and a late, inventive cameo of 13 from Henry Walker to thank as Furness' skilful seamers and trio of spinners set to work.
Openers Slack and Jordan Whinn found it hard going against the nous and experience of Peter Lawson whose eight-overs cost just four runs.
But it was off-spinner Jake Woods who made the breakthrough when he trapped Whinn LBW with one that stayed low.
After drinks, Slack abandoned the coaching manual to uncharacteristically take a cross bat to the Furness attack on a two paced pitch, but a hand round the collective throat of Carlisle's middle order throttled the home side's attempts to generate any momentum.
Walker's late switch hitting and hard running took his team a little closer to three figures, but 86 at the tea break felt distinctly underwhelming.
In reply, Carlisle needed early wickets and Fraser Conn duly obliged when opener, Griffiths was caught in the covers.
Conn struck again with the score on 30, but the away team's progress looked secure, with overs to spare and a long batting line up to come.
Then though the cup holders were taken by surprise as Carlisle's teenage pacemen, Henry Walker and Stanley McAlindon combined to take six wickets between them, turning the game completely on its head.
Walker first accounted for Lewis Gribbin and the dangerous Mark Daly in the space of just three balls, before McAlindon's pace first rapped pro Pathirana on the pads before having him caught fending one to cover.
McAlindon dispatched both Pearcey and Woods, while Walker cleaned up Gadsten as Furness' sight of victory began to recede and the pressure was heaped on Garry Thompson as the last remaining batsman.
Between them, Walker and McAlindon's figures added up to 13-6-24-6, each wicket sparking increasingly optimistic celebrations as the most unlikely of wins seemed possible.
It was left to Phil Frazer to put an end to proceedings, first trapping Thompson LBW, then bowling last man Josh Shaw to send Carlisle into the semi finals.
Later skipper, Marc Brown hailed his young side's performance.
"We never gave up. We have a young and talented side, but today we showed real strength and determination to defend a small total, an inadequate one really.
"The weather last week didn't help, but we didn't bat well at key stages of the innings either.
"But the way all the bowlers performed gave us a chance, and Henry and Stan knocked the heart out of their middle order.
"I was delighted for all of them."

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Tuesday, 17 September 2019

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