NW CRICKET: ARDMORE, COLERAINE SET THE PREMIERSHIP PACE

Brigade wicket keeper Gareth McKeegan makes a shout for lbw against Ardmore batsman Ryan Brolly. INLS3216-114KM

Brigade wicket keeper Gareth McKeegan makes a shout for lbw against Ardmore batsman Ryan Brolly. INLS3216-114KM

Most observers felt that the Premiership title would come down to one from Brigade, Coleraine or Donemana and while that’s most likely still the case, you can now seriously factor in Ardmore and Eglinton.

Ardmore batsman Ryan Brolly pictured in action against Brigade on Saturday. INLS3216-111KM

Ardmore batsman Ryan Brolly pictured in action against Brigade on Saturday. INLS3216-111KM

The latter pair have been there or thereabouts all summer and were on the mark again at the weekend - Ardmore stunning favourites Brigade while the villagers had an altogether easier ride against Drummond.

Elsewhere, Donemana forced their way back into the title picture with a big win at Coleraine. The Bannsiders will by now be sick of the sight of Andy McBrine who followed up his man-of-the-match performance against them in last weekend’s Senior Cup final with another superb effort with both bat and ball here.

It was a good day for Strabane too as Ryan Gallagher’s men finally claimed their first league win of the season; Peter and Mark Gillespie combining to lift the ‘Red Caps’ above Drummond in the table on net run rate.

In the Championship, bottom club Bond’s Glen stunned leaders Fox Lodge but it wasn’t enough to lift them off the foot of the table after St. Johnston got the better of Ballyspallen in a final over thriller at The Boathole.

Newbuildings weren’t able to take advantage of the Foxies’ defeat as they lost at home to Killyclooney.

Glendermott will have felt right back in the promotion race after they edged out Burndennett but their hard work was to be undone the following day with a heavy defeat in Donegal. Every cloud and all that however because the result meant a second win in as many days for St. Johnston, lifting them well clear of the relegation zone.

Also on Sunday, Coleraine’s miserable weekend was complete when their re-arranged game at Strabane fell victim to heavy rain. The Bannsiders were well on top at the time, skipper Campbell (69 not out) and Suraj Randiv (46 not out) helping them to 156 for 1 after 37 overs before the elements put paid to the game. No points and not much help to either side that as the battle rumbles on at both ends of the table.