Instonians' seemingly unstoppable march to the NCU League title continued in imperious fashion yesterday with a seven wickets victory over Waringstown at The Lawn.

They had an anxious three hour-wait for the rain to stop and the ground to dry out but the umpires agreed there was time for the minimum 20 overs to be bowled after the Villagers had struggled to 92 for six. The Belfast side needed less half of them, however, as the hard work had been done in the 32.4 overs before the break.

With professional Shane Dadswell, in his final game, taking the first three wickets and Andrew White and Cade Carmichael following up with three more, by the end of the 19th over Waringstown were reeling at 54 for six.

Ross Allen and Rory Bessell added 38 before the rain arrived but because of their early devastation, Instonians were left with a target of just 77 to pick up another vital four points.

Carmichael, promoted  to opener in the absence of Robert McKinley lost three partners, including two in the first eight balls, but Shane Getkate hit 29 off 18 balls and Carmichael finished 39 not out to complete the win which sees them requiring just two more points to win their first title since 2016.

Instonians' final game is at home to Civil Service North on Saturday but they will be crowned champions if Waringstown beat Lisburn at the Lawn tomorrow evening in a 20-over rearrangement.

Lisburn kept the title race alive yesterday with an equally comfortable seven wickets victory over a depleted North Down side, chasing down their victory target of 117 in just 15 overs.

At the other end of the table, Derriaghy must win their final two games, against Woodvale, the team directly above them to have any chance of avoiding an immediate return to Section One.

Their first attempt to play at Ballygomartin Road was ended by a downpour after Derriaghy had posted 221 for six.