NW CRICKET: Champions back on top after crunch win in Coleraine

Andy Britton who claimed five wickets as Brigade stayed in title contention with victory over Ardmore
Andy Britton who claimed five wickets as Brigade stayed in title contention with victory over Ardmore

Donemana could well be excused if they were a little pre-occupied with next weekend’s North West Senior Cup semi-final clash at Bready but there was little sign of it on Saturday as they claimed outright leadership of the Long’s Supervalu Premier Division table with a deserved win over Coleraine at Sandel Lodge.

Having already lost to last season’s double winners in this year’s cup competition, the Bannsiders knew that this was their chance for redemption. However their failure to deal with the experienced spin options of the visitors was to cost them dearly.

Quite simply, Donemana were too clever on the day with a stunning bowling display from Jordan McGonigle, Junior McBrine and Imran Butt sealing the hosts’ fate. It’s a win that sees the Tyrone team leap-frog their opponents to the top of the table and sends them into that huge cup game at Magheramason next week in fine fettle.

Not that Bready aren’t in rude health themselves. Davy Scanlon’s men recorded an emphatic win against Fox Lodge on Saturday that keeps them well clear of the bottom two places and means they don’t go into next weekend having to look over their shoulder.

Brigade shot Ardmore out for just 66 at Beechgrove and although they lost three wickets in getting it, Andy Britton’s side are refusing to give up on a title shot themselves.

In the final game of the day, Eglinton’s Ross Allen posted his first ever competitive century as they defeated Drummond by seven wickets meaning the Roe Valley men are still very much up against it in their efforts to avoid automatic relegation.

In Saturday’s Championship matches, Newbuildings and Ballyspallen blew the title race wide open with wins over Killyclooney and Strabane respectively. With Sunday’s games then resulting in wins for Strabane at Bond’s Glen and Newbuildings at home to Ballyspallen, it is literally now anybody’s title to win.

There was one game in the top flight on Sunday, Ardmore claiming a much needed win with a last-gasp verdict at home to Fox Lodge.