It was very much Donemana’s day at the start of the 2014 Danske Bank senior cup final, the trophy holders taking a huge advantage into Saturday’s second innings after completely dominating events at Strabane Park on Friday afternoon.
It didn’t start too well for the Tyrone side mind you as Andy Britton and Mark Simpson milked the conditions early on, the latter getting the breakthrough in his first over as he tempted Stephen Wallace to chase a wide one which he edged behind to Gareth McKeegan.
Tom Riddles and Gary McClintock had a job to do with the fielding side buzzing but both men resisted their natural urge to attack and their patience was rewarded.
To be fair, Brigade gave McClintock in particular several chances but the batsmen added 66 runs before Brigade finally held one, McKeegan again with the safe hands as McClintock fell for 17.
The bowling side was right back in the contest shortly afterwards when Riddles’ patience finally wore out and he mistimed a big drive to Ryan Hunter off Richard Hepburn and was gone for 45 (6 fours).
That brought Andy McBrine and Kamran Sajid together and both looked very comfortable from the start as Donemana gave themselves a foot-hold in the game, their partnership finally worth 67 before Sajid was caught by Ian McGregor on the boundary for 32.
Ricky-Lee Dougherty came and went and Andy McBrine followed shortly after, but not before the Warriors skipper had made 51 very valuable runs (6 fours).
Skipper Kee (31) not out and William McClintock (26) added another 45 for the 7th wicket while Kee and Junior McBrine (16 not out) batted out the final overs very tidily to see their side close their first innings on a very competitive 244 for 7.
McKeegan’s side didn’t start well either as Sajid found the edge of McGregor’s bat with the score on seven and Junior McBrine snapped up an excellent catch in the slips.
The skipper and Ryan Hunter added 37 more before Hunter was run out for 13 and McKeegan and Mattie Moran had added just 14 more when disaster struck for Brigade.
Jordan McGonigle had Moran caught in the deep by Kamran Sajid for four and with his very next ball he had the skipper caught behind by Dougherty as they slumped to 58 for 4.
Amarnath made just nine when McGonigle tempted him out of his lines and Dougherty did the rest. Thompson didn’t last long either as William McClintock took a superb catch on the boundary. David Murdock was next to go, picking out Kee at midwicket to leave Brigade 78 for 7.
Richard Hepburn and Andy Britton tried manfully to fend off a rampant Donemana but Andy McBrine removed Britton for five and Simon Dunn without scoring as the holders scented blood.
Hepburn though was proving much more durable and with the follow-on marker still in front of the last pair, Hepburn and Mark Simpson fought tooth and nail to hang in.
The former Donemana all-rounder got himself to 50, but more importantly he gave his side some sort of chance for today. The last wicket partnership was 41 in the end,
Donemana sent William McClintock in to open with Riddles. Riddles and McClintock made 38 without loss, a commanding lead of 142.