It’s early days in the Long’s Supervalu North West Premiership, but Brigade put down a significant marker at Sandel Lodge on Saturday.
By beating reigning champions Coleraine by four wickets on their home ground, the Beechgrove side served timely notice of their title credentials.
Brigade took a stranglehold on the match from the first moments courtesy of Andrew Britton, the fast bowler, and never really let go.
Britton dismissed Scott Campbell and Johnny Ring in the space of two balls in the third over and then accounted for North West Warriors team-mate Niall McDonnell in the fifth.
With South African professional Kyllin Vardahan falling to Mark Simpson Coleraine were 22 for four and in a deep hole.
David Cooke and Rishi Chopra repaired some of the damage with a 54-run stand before the young spinner fell to Richard Hepburn for 30 from 64 balls.
With David Cooke joined by his brother, Gordon, the captain, the pair dragged Coleraine right back into the game with a 71-run stand for the sixth wicket.
However, just as Coleraine looked poised to post a target in the region of 200 the innings collapsed. Gordon was the fourth of six victims for Britton after making 31 while David’s 67 contained nine fours and came from 128 balls.
From 147 for five Coleraine lost their last five wickets for just 20 runs in the space of less than four overs. Britton’s figures were six for 40 from his 10 overs.
There was a twist to come through as Gareth Burns, the Warriors bowler who has been called into the squad for today’s interprovincial game at Sandelo Lodge, rocked Brigadw with a brilliant new-ball burst.
Openers Ian McGregor and Ryan Hunter, along with Adam McDaid, were back in the pavilion with just 11 on the board as Burns claimed three for 34 and Jarred Barns conceded just 14 in his 10 overs.
Coleraine were right back in the hunt but the door was shut firmly in their face courtesy of a 96-run stand for the fourth wicket between Johnny Thompson and new professional Digvijay Amarnath.
Captain Gareth McKeegan has voiced concerned about his batting depth but Amarnath may have the answers as he demonstrated during an unbeaten 52 from 139 balls. Thompson was typically aggressive at the other end, thumping six fours and three sixes in making 62 from 78 balls before he was trapped lbw by Vardhan.
Matty Moran joined Amarnath in a 46-run stand for the fifth wicket and although he and McKeegan fell to Rishi Chopra’s spin with the winning line in sight, Brigade got home with 12 balls to spare.