There was plenty of sunshine around the North West on Thursday night as the Best Western White Horse Hotel T20 competition got off to a flying start with big individual performances the order of the evening.
Blayde Capell led the way at Killyclooney- the South African who has certainly made an early mark in the North West with his big-hitting was at it again as ‘Clooney beat Glendermott by 18 runs in a cracking match.
Capell blasted 17 fours and 16 sixes in his 67-ball 176 not out; sharing in a 170-run opening stand with William Finlay who scored 40 in a closing total 0f 233-3.
To their credit, the Rectory side refused to roll over and Gihan Cloete’s 29-ball 76 (12 fours, 4 sixes) got them back into the game.
Skipper Ben Mills made an unbeaten 54 and Manav Chhabra 33, but the visitors’ middle order wasn’t able to maintain the momentum as the reply closed on 215-7.
In-form Strabane beat neighbours Burndennett by 80 runs courtesy of an 89-run partnership from the Gallagher brothers Kevin (45) and Ryan (41).
Mark Pollock bowled really well for figures of 3-24, backed up by Brian Devine (2-20).
The hosts needed to start well and their new player/coach, Niall McDonnell got them up an running with 32.
The ex-Strabane man had earlier taken an unbelievable catch to get rid of Rhys Logue, but his efforts were to be in vain as no other ‘Dennett batsman made it to double figures.
Logue was again in the action with the ball- this time returning sensational figures of 5-8 as the reply closed on 69.
Bready started with a win as well as they beat St Johnston by 7 wickets.
David Lapsley hit 8 fours and a six in his unbeaten 72 while David Macbeth added 36 as the visitors posted 136-4 from their 20 overs.
David Rankin (52*) and Gavin Roulston (45) broke the back of the chase at the top of the order, and although Graeme McCarter (2-19) bowled tidily, Ian Young closed out a comfortable win with 23 not out.
Eglinton recorded a similar-margin win at home to Bonds Glen- Liam Doherty hitting 3 fours and 5 sixes in his 62 not out as the villagers chased down the Bee Gees’ modest 113-7.
Andy Millar made a quick 22 (2 fours, 2 sixes) and Jamie Millar 21 not out as that trio steered the home team to the points.
Earlier, 37 from David Cooke and 27* from Jonny Haslett had helped Bonds Glen to their total- the Millar boys Jamie (3-22) and Andy (2-31) faring best with the ball for Eglinton in a cosy success.
Ardmore and Coleraine shared more than 400 runs at the Bleachgreen with the hosts coming out on top by 15.
Dharm Singh hit 9 fours and 7 sixes in his 103, as he and Rachit Gaur (64- 10 fours) posted a 164-run opening stand for their side. Aviwe Mgijima chipped in with 23* in what looked a commanding total of 212-2.
Undeterred, Coleraine gave it a real go in reply with Matty Smyth hitting 11 fours and 3 sixes in his 98. Smyth will have been gutted not to get to three figures, having shared in a 131-run partnership with Rory Knox who made 42.
The north coast team fell away having been 161-3 in the 15th over; the next 5 wickets falling for the addition of 36.
Skipper Gaur claimed the honours with the ball (4-31) as his side started with a win.
Newbuildings posted a bloodless 10-wicket win at home to Ballyspallen as openers Johnny Thompson (80*) and Mark Hanna (53*) chased down ‘Spallen’s 133-5 in 10 overs.
‘JT’ hit 4 fours and 10 sixes and Hanna 7 fours and 3 sixes in the win after James Thompson (42*), Luke Gilfillan (27), Stuart Kennedy (26) and Jamie O’Brien (20) had given the Roe Valley side a respectable start.