Coleraine impress at Holm as they see off Donemana in style

Niall McDonnell impressed with the bat
Niall McDonnell impressed with the bat

Coleraine struck the most significant blow of the North West Premier League title race on Saturday, thumping Donemana by six wickets at The Holm to open up a two-point lead at the top of the table.

The Bannsiders won the heavyweight clash of the only two unbeaten teams in the division, chasing down what was probably a below-par 262 from the home side.

In truth, the run chase was comfortable, as first openers Niall McDonnell (61) and Tim Chopra (54) put on 76.

With Rishi Chopra also contributing a half-century, Coleraine were in total control at 159 for one.

They did wobble, Jordan McGonigle dismissing Rishi Chopra and then captain Scott Campbell without scoring as three wickets fell for 16 runs to leave the match delicately balanced at 175 for four.

But any Donemana hopes of turning the game around were ended by Sri Lankan professional Roshen Silva, and the master finisher, David Cooke.

The fifth-wicket pair added 88 unbroken runs, with Silva, unusually, content to take a back seat as Cooke outscored his partner on 56 not out. The champions got home with 14 balls to spare.

Earlier Donemana should really have reached 300 after Jan Frylinck (86) struck six fours and six sixes before falling to the impressive Jarred Barnes (3-33). Without Andy McBrine on international duty, Donemana lost their last five wickets for just 19 runs with Campbell taking 3-48.

Brigade’s title challenge continues to falter after Ardmore sprung a surprise at Beechgrove.

Decker Curry struck six fours and a six and captain Ciaran Curley added 46 as Ardmore posted a respectable 227 for six.

Brigade’s reply started well enough as they reached 100 for one and then were seemingly cruising at 174 for three.

However, no-one could really give David Barr (56) enough support as the last seven wickets fell for just 41 runs to secure a 12-run Ardmore win. Gary Neely with 4-42 and Curry 3-33 were the chief destroyers.

Elsewhere, Bready chased down Strabane’s modest 161 for the loss of just three wickets at Magheramason.

Eglinton professional Oraine Williams starred in a eight-wicket win over Drummond.