The North West big three of holders Donemana, Brigade and Coleraine are all safetly through to the semi-finals of the Bank of Ireland Senior Cup after victories on Saturday.
And yesterday’s draw paired Donemana, aiming for a fifth Senior Cup triumph in a rown, with Brigade with Coleraine hosting Bready.
Doneman were the most convincing winners on Saturday, as they put Championship side Newbuildings to the sword, but only after they were given an early scare or two.
Donemana were struggling on 10 for two early on, however the Premier League side stamped their class all over the second half of the innings to leave Dale Culbert’s team shell-shocked.
Ricky-Lee Dougherty’s side piled on an incredible 167 runs in the last 12 overs with professional Jan Frylinck and William McClintock sharing in a rapid unbroken partnership. Frylinck struck five sixes and a four from one Culbert over as he raced to an unbeaten 111 at the end, made from just 64 balls and including 12 fours and six sixes.
McClintock was only slightly more subdued - striking nine fours and four sixes in his 80 not out as Donemana posted a mammoth 407 for five in their 50 overs. Earlier, Andrew Riddles (90) and William McClintock (81) had batted brilliantly to lead the recovery.
Newbuildings’ reply started reasonably well with Dean Mehaffey (44) and David Robb (29) taking them to 66 for one but they needed a mammoth innings from overseas man, Peat Salmon to stand even a remote chance. The West Indian had earlier been presented with the Player-of-the-Month award for May but when was run out for 20 that was the tie as good as settled.
Jason Browne (33), Peter Allen (27) and Stephen Wallace (22) all struck defiant knocks and a final total of 233 and a 174-run defeat was nothing to be ashamed of. Dwayne McGerrigle (3-33) and Jordan McGonigle (2-29) fared best with the ball for Donemana.
Life was a lot less comfortable for Brigade, who only edged out Drummond after a thrilling and tense finale.
Drummond posted a respectable 195 batting first, the foundations laid during an opening stand of 64 between Kyle Morrow and Andy Christie. Morrow struck eight fours in his 51 while veteran Christie (34) showed all of his guile against a quality home attack.
Jamie Millar added 37 and former Ireland international Ricky McDaid 23. Jonny Robinson (3-36) and Ryan Macbeth (3-40) were the pick of the Brigade attack.
Brigade were strong favourites at the halfway stage but they were soon reeling as Iftikhar Hussain went for a duck and McDaid claimed the scalp of David Barr for 14. However, when Ryan Hunter (34) and West Indian professional Danza Hyatt led the recovery with a third-wicket partnership, Brigade were seemingly cruising on 73 for two.
But Millar (4-34) threatened to turn the tie on its head, removing both players, Gareth McKeegan for a single and then Brigade skipper Andy Britton.
At 93 for five and 111 for six, Brigade were in deep trouble, but first Chris Dixon (30) added 36 with Robinson until he fell to Chris Moore.
At 147 for seven it was anyone’s game but Robinson, as he regularly does when the chips are down, held his nerve.
The former Bready and Strabane all-rounder crashed three fours and three sixes to finish unbeaten on 56. He was dropped on the boundary late on but with Macbeth unbeaten on 11 at the other end, Brigade got home by three wickets with plenty of overs to spare.
There was one game in the Long’s Supervalu Premiership yesterday with Eglinton beating Ardmore by five wickets.
Ardmore piled up an imposing 291 for seven batting first as Marlo Jardine crashed 120.
However, West Indian Oraine Williams hit a century of his own in reply as Eglinton won with 17 balls to spare.