Brigade secure winning weekend double
Brigade made it two wins from two starts in the White Horse Hotel T20 Cup as they sneaked past Strabane at the Park on Sunday afternoon.
For the second day in a row we had a game decided on the very last ball as the visitors dug deep to take control of their qualification group.
A wet start to the day saw the contest originally reduced to 11 overs a side, with the Red Caps having a bat first. Tom Harpur and Aaron Gillespie were happy to take the Brigade bowlers on over the short format - Harpur carrying his bat for an unbeaten 36 which included 3 sixes while skipper Gillespie smacked four maximums in his 33.
Debutant Ehtesham Ahmed added 19 as Strabane posted 92-3 in their allotted overs.
Brigade started really well in reply with David Barr and skipper Andy Britton racing to 32-0 after 2 overs. They had moved on to 45-1 in the sixth before the rain returned and following another rain delay, the teams returned with the visitors’ new target set at 68 from 8 overs.
Some impressive bowling from Havern and Gillespie put Strabane right back in it and as they got down to the last two balls, Brigade still needed 7 to win. Kyle Magee pulled the penultimate delivery over the rope and with just one required off the last, the Warriors man pierced the crowded infield to win it for his side.
Players and supporters have had a very long wait for some domestic cricket action this year and there was a real sense of relief on Saturday as the new club season finally got going with the first round of matches in the Best Western White Horse Hotel T20 Cup.
And despite the rain around during Friday night and Saturday morning, six of the seven scheduled matches were played to a conclusion - only the Donemana versus St Johnston game, which had been called off earlier in the week, failed to reach a conclusion.
Match of the day was at the Rectory where North West Warriors batsman Nathan McGuire marked his debut for the home side with a sparkling unbeaten 81.
The teenager smacked 6 sixes and 4 fours in his 62-ball knock; however the only other Glendermott batsman to get among the runs was Steve Moore with 16.
The home side posted a total of 121-6 and Bready looked to be coasting early on as David Rankin and Irosh Samarasooriya (27) got them off to a quick start.
Once Rankin fell, just a run short of his half century however, Glendermott sensed their chance.
McGuire showed he was no mug with the ball either as he claimed 2-15 from his 4 overs while skipper Alan Johnson added 2-22 to keep the pressure on.
The visitors needed 12 off the last over and Conor Olphert hit the first ball for six but to be fair to bowler Jason Lynch he pulled it back well.
Bready were forced to scramble for the rest, and relied on a single through the close field off the final delivery to claim their win.
Bonds Glen stunned Coleraine with half centuries from Raymond Curry (58*) and Mattie Barr (52) helping them to a 7-wicket win over the Bannsiders with just three balls to spare.
David Cooke made 59, Matthew Hutchinson 43 and Paddy Carson 31 as the visitors posted 163-5 from their 20 overs. Sam Kincaid bowled really well to claim figures of 2-8 from his three overs for the hosts.
With their ground in glorious condition the Bee Gees set about their reply very positively with Curry and Barr dominating.
Barr hit Gordon Cooke for 3 sixes in an over to signal his intent while Curry, who was 12th man for the Warriors on Thursday hit a six at the start of the final over to ease the pressure late on.
It was a fantastic effort by a spirited home team as they claimed a really impressive win.
Ardmore posted a straightforward nine wicket victory away at Ballyspallen, with an unbeaten 48 and three wickets from debutant Dharam Singh sealing the deal.
Former North County man Singh claimed 3-14 and another former Leinster player Rachit Gaur added 3-5 as a youthful ’Spallen side were restricted to 75-9 from their 20 overs. Jacob Logan-Wilson made an impressive 40 for the hosts.
The Bleachgreen side only needed eight overs to knock off the target and secure a maximum points start.
Brigade also started with a win on Saturday as last year’s beaten senior cup finalists had Killyclooney all out for 77 - Kenzie Hall (22) top scoring for ’Clooney while Ryan Macbeth and Ryan Barr claimed three wickets each, and Ross Allen two.
David Barr hit an unbeaten 35 and David Murdock added 23 as Brigade cruised to their target with seven wickets and five overs to spare.
Eglinton and Fox Lodge served up a decent, if low-scoring affair at the village ground. Jonny Robinson top scored with 27 and Jason Milligan added 20, while Luke Hayes chipped in with an unbeaten 18 as the Foxies made 90-9 in their 20 overs.
The Ballymagorry side lost five wickets for 16 runs at the end of their innings with Mark Averill (3-7) and Simon Dunn (3-11) doing the damage.
Averill was among the runs in the reply as his 21, and 21 not out from Lee Ritchie just saw them edge home. Eglinton looked in trouble at 63-7 after two wickets apiece for Aaron Heywood, Jamie McIntyre and Levi Kerr had them on the ropes, but Ritchie and Richard Wylie got them over the line.
In the final game of the day, Johnny Thompson hit 6 sixes in his unbeaten 42 and Ross Dougherty 6 fours in his 25 not out as Newbuildings proved too strong for Burndennett. That 70-run stand saw Gareth McKeegan’s men chase down the visitors 122-6 with six overs to spare.
Earlier, Mattie Barr had made 38, Mark Pollock 21 and Marty Mehaffey 20, while Jason Dunn (3-20) had fared best with the ball for Newbuildings who secured a seven wicket win.