On a day when Decker Curry reminded everyone of his enduring qualities, another big-hitting left-hander, Wayne Horwood, lit up Curry’s former stomping ground of Donemana.
The Civil Service North opener has been talking about retirement recently, but he showed there is life in the old dog yet, hitting eight fours and nine sixes in a blistering 94. With Mansoor Amjad just behind in the boundary count with six fours and eight maximums in his 90, the visitors piled up 307 at The Holm.
Richie McBrine’s five wickets at least ensured CSNI weren’t completely out of sight, but Donemana’s reply started disastrously as three wickets tumbled inside the first five overs. Gary McClintock struck five fours and five sixes in a quickfire 55 but Donemana were dismissed for a disappointing 194 with more than 15 overs unused.
Holders North Down progressed to the last eight courtesy of an almost embarrassingly easy 10-wicket win at Eglinton.
The North West club were humiliated by Waringstown a fortnight ago in the Irish Cup, but if anything this was even more emphatic as the unlikely figures of Alistair Shields (4-18) and second eleven veteran Billy Adams (2-10) joined forces with Pieter Malan (3-27) as Eglinton were dismissed for just 111.
North Down wasted no time romping to their target, Daniel Graham slamming nine fours and a six in an unbeaten 71 and Jacob Mulder was unbeaten on 36 as they got home in the 20th over.
Waringstown, who have never won the Ulster Cup, beat Coleraine by 86 runs in a repeat of the 2013 final, which the Bannsiders won at The Lawn.
James Hall, resoundingly back to form, struck five sixes in a superb 65 from 72 balls as the villagers made 237 for seven batting first, and Greg Thompson then took 5-24 as Coleraine collapsed from 106 for two to 151 all out.
Roshen Silva (35) was one of Thompson’s victims.