nw senior cup CRICKET

Donemana remain on course for a remarkable fifth North West Senior Cup triumph in a row.

Ricky-Lee Dougherty’s team booked a date with Coleraine in the final at the end of next month at Strabane Park after winning a war of attrition with Brigade at The Holm on Saturday.

Brigade, who can’t seem to rid themselves of the Donemana curse in the Senior Cup, put up a valiant fight with Ryan Hunter producing a defiant display on his return to the club where he learnt his trade.

Hunter posted a 45-run stand with Gareth McKeegan (28) after David Barr was dismissed in the first over and despite West Indian professional Danza Hyatt following soon after to a great Tom Riddles catch in tricky conditions, Brigade dug their way out of trouble.

Hunter added a 100-run partnership with Iftikhar Hussain for the fourth wicket but just as they really threatened to put Brigade in control, the pair fell in quick succession. Hunter departed to Jan Frylinck courtesy of an excellent catch from Dwayne McGerrigle after striking four fours and four sixes in his 70 and then Hussain was trapped in front by Ritchie McBrine for 42.

Jonny Robinson contributed 23 and skipper Andy Britton held the lower order together with 27 but 222 was respectable rather than daunting.

Frylinck (3-32) was the most successful of the home bowlers with McBrine brothers Andy and William returning identical figures of 2-24.

Donemana’s reply started nervously, Tom Riddles bowled by Britton in the first over and Dougherty following for 17 to Mark Simpson.

The home side regained control as Andy McBrine and Gary McClintock added 68 for the third wicket but Brigade had a glimmer of hope as McBrine skipped down the pitch to Johnny Robinson and was stumped.

Frylinck departed soon after but that was Donemana’s last alarm, Andrew Riddles and William McClintock adding 79 unbroken runs to take them home with eight overs to spare.

Riddles struck four fours and a six in an unbeaten 48 while McClintock’s innings was a mature 42 not out.

Gordon Cooke effectively settled the other semi-final in Coleraine’s favour after his opening burst ripped the heart out of Bready’s batting.

The former Ireland bowler claimed figures of 5-33 as Bready were reduced to 44 for six and then 90 all out.

After losing at the semi-final stage for the previous five seasons, the Bannsiders weren’t about to waste this golden chance.

Niall McDonell (33) was the only wicket to fall as Tim Chopra (35 no) and nephew Rishi helped them canter home.

The result has set up a fascinating final. Coleraine, you sense, will be no pushovers at the two-day showpiece.