The North West’s involvement in the Irish Cup ended in comprehensive fashion yesterday as all three survivors were knocked out of the competition before the quarter-final stage.
Donemana were thumped by six wickets at The Hills after they were dismissed for just 143 while Bready’s more respectable total of 219 for seven was all too easy for one of the competition favourites, Pembroke, in a one-sided chase in Dublin.
Coleraine meanwhile, rarely looked like troubling Waringstown, the villagers cruising home by eight wickets at a sun-drenched Lawn.
That victory for the villagers sets up a mouth-watering quarter-final against holders Merrion next month, a repeat of the Irish Cup final of the past two seasons. Waringstown won the 2015 showpiece at The Lawn before Merrion gained sweet revenge in last summer’s decider at Clontarf.
The completed quarter-final draw now sees North Down facing a daunting trip to Pembroke while The Hills will be overwhelming favourites at home to Balbriggan. There is at least the guarantee of an NCU semi-finalist, with CIYMS and Instonians already drawn against each other in the last eight.
Coleraine failed a trial by spin at The Lawn after winning what should have been an excellent toss.
Scott Campbell and Marcus Poskett got the Bannsiders off to a flier. The visitors raced to 50 in quick time but after impressive teenager Morgan Topping (2-23) removed Campbell, the innings went into reverse as three wickets fell for two runs and the middle order got stuck against off-spinners Topping, Kyle McCallan (2-22), and James Hall (1-17).
It was left for David Cooke, the veteran wicketkeeper-batsman, to salvage some measure of pride with an unbeaten 70, but a target of 167 for seven was never going to worry Waringstown in these conditions.
James Hall and James McCollum completely dominated during a 159-run stand for the second wicket. McCollum fell shortly before victory was secured in just the 26th over for a 51 that included eight fours while Hall, back in form and at his destructive best, crashed an unbeaten 91 from just 72 balls, hitting 12 fours and four sixes.
Both Donemana and Bready will realise they just didn’t make enough runs against admittedly tough Dublin opposition on their home patches.
William McClintock with 38 was one of just three Donemana batsmen to reach double figures and although the North Westers had the home side wobbling on 84 for four in reply, Mike Baumgart hit an unbeaten 57 to secure victory for The Hills with 11 overs to spare. Junior McBrine conceded just 15 runs in 10 overs on a rare senior outing.
For Bready four batsmen reached 30, with David Rankin top scoring with 43, but no-one could go on to make the big score needed to seriously challenge Pembroke’s top order. Andrew Balbirnie, the Ireland batsmen, hit an unbeaten 90 alongside an unbeaten 110 from Nick Cutler.