Day of close finishes as North West league groups near conclusion

The Long’s SuperValu League groups are all but completed after a fascinating day of 40-over action on Sunday that saw several games go down to the wire.

Strabane’s Conor Graham edges a catch to Bonds Glen wicketkeeper Simon Killen, during Sunday’s game. Picture by Lawrence Moore
Strabane’s Conor Graham edges a catch to Bonds Glen wicketkeeper Simon Killen, during Sunday’s game. Picture by Lawrence Moore

Bready, Ardmore, Fox Lodge and Brigade have emerged from Group A to the Premier competition where they will be joined by Eglinton, Newbuildings and Donemana from Group B.

The final place will be decided between Coleraine Burndennett and Ballyspallen after next weekend’s final fixtures in that group.

Despite both teams having already qualified in the top four, Ardmore pulled a real rabbit from the hat in their match at home to Fox Lodge on Sunday.

Chasing 201 to win the hosts still needed 7 from the last two deliveries before Conor Brolly hit both to the rope to stun the Ballymagorry men. Luke Hayes had top scored with 78 not out for the visitors, but it was to be in vain after Jared Wilson made 48, Tyron Koen 41 and Brolly 44 not out including those match-winning boundaries.

Glendermott recorded a much-celebrated 10-run win over already qualified Brigade at the Rectory. Nauman Anwar hit 62 for the home side and Steve Moore added 37 before some real fireworks were served up late on. Craig Mooney made 41 down the order but even he was outdone by Tylor Moore who hit 6 sixes in his 41 as Glendermott put on 90 runs for the last two wickets in just 8 overs.

Adam McDaid replied with 74, David Barr 62 and Kyle Magee 50 as the visitors threatened to pull away, however the Bonds Street side did just enough to send their big support home happy.

There was another close contest at Coleraine where the home side came up 14 runs short of Newbuildings’ competitive total of 195. Gareth McKeegan hit 12 fours and 2 sixes in top scoring with 85 but the Bannsiders were just unable to do enough despite 45 from Scott Campbell. Coleraine are still leading the hunt for that fourth place finish but now have work to do next weekend.

Bonds Glen won again after their impressive cup success on the north coast on Saturday- they accounted for Strabane by 7 wickets with Rehan Afridi again in the runs. The Pakistani batsman made 70 in a comfortable success, however credit must also go to Sam Kincaid who bowled superbly to claim 3-3 as the Red Caps were restricted to 128 all out.

Richard Wylie enjoyed a successful day as Eglinton beat Killyclooney by six wickets. Jack Martin picked up 4 wickets and Wylie 3 as ’Clooney were dismissed for 115 and the villagers’ all-rounder then made 49 with the bat as they chased the target down with plenty to spare.

Ballyspallen needed a 51-run last wicket stand to help them make 111 against Burndennett. Number 11 batsman Michael O’Brien scored 28 not out to help his team to three figures while Conan Pollock helped himself to a five wicket haul for ’Dennett. Mark Pollock hit 44 and Marty Mehaffey 34 as the visitors won comfortably to keep their qualifying chances alive.

Bready rounded off their group phase in emphatic style with a 50-run win at home to St Johnston. Irosh made 69 with Jamie Magee chipping in with 32 and David Rankin 31 in the home side’s 235-8. David Macbeth’s unbeaten 45 along with 31 from David Lapsley and 29 from Scott Macbeth got the Donegal side close, but without ever looking like chasing down the total.