All to play for with two games to go
Six of this week’s seven scheduled matches in the North West T20 competition went ahead as planned with the Ardmore v Donemana tie the only ‘faller’ after a week of fairly intense rain.
The Holm side remain in the driving seat to progress from that group despite the washout; Killyclooney’s win over Bonds Glen on Saturday no bad outcome for William McClintock’s team. And a thumping success it was too with ‘Clooney posting a huge 190 for 5 from their 20 overs and then bowling the Bee Gees out for just 49. Mark Gordon hit 8 sixes as he made 61 for the home side with Darren Moan adding 35 and Timmy Dougherty 21 not out. John Long fared best with the bat for the visitors, making 23 of their disappointing reply, however the plaudits here belonged to young Jason Wallace who claimed excellent figures of 5-12, including a hat-trick!
Donemana will travel to Killyclooney this coming Tuesday night in their re-arranged tie knowing a win there will all but secure them a place in the senior cup semi-finals.
Elsewhere, Coleraine were unable to seal their group win when they were well beaten at home to Eglinton. The Bannsiders had been carrying all before them up until Saturday, but struggled to cope with their own pitch which was playing very slow after all the rain. Simon Dunn did the bulk of the damage, also claiming a 5-wicket haul (5-16) while Richard Wylie added 3-14 as Coleraine were shot out for 65. New-boy Will Smale top scored with 14 and while Eglinton didn’t get it all their own way in reply, Tommy Orr’s 27 at the top of the order was good enough. Graham Hume (3-4) kept things interesting, but the hosts simply had no runs to play with and Eglinton eased home by 5 wickets.
Bready are also looking good for the top of their group after a narrow 2-wicket win over a Burndennett side who had already lowered their colours on the opening day of the season. Runs were hard come by here as well with the Championship side making 95 all out as they batted first. Conan Pollock (19 not out) was best with the bat while Dean McCloskey (4-15), Kat Bhavsar (2-14) and Reece Kelly (2-23) kept Bready on top with the ball. Jamie Magee top scored with 32 in Bready’s reply while David Rankin chipped in with 25, however wickets fell regularly here as well. Gary Neely (2-9) and Brian Devine (2-17) kept ‘Dennett in contention right throughout the second innings before the Premiership side fell over the line with 2 wickets to spare.
In the same group, Strabane’s miserable run continued as they lost to Fox Lodge. Jason Milligan made 33, Aidan Logue 29 and Jonny Robinson 25 as the Foxies posted 132-7 from their 20 overs. Rhys Logue (3-20) and Ryan Gallagher (2-13) bowled well for the Red Caps, however once again their batting failed to fire. Two wickets apiece for Aaron Heywood (2-12), Robinson (2-13) and Adam Walker (2-14) saw Strabane dismissed for 89 as they continue to search for their first win of the season.
The Group involving Brigade and Newbuildings continues to generate most interest and there remains nothing between them after they recorded very similar wins on Saturday. On another slow track, the Beechgrove side posted a respectable 126-8 as they batted first against St Johnston. Iftikhar Hussain top scored with 31 while Kyle Magee added 25 and Ryan Hunter and David Murdock 21 apiece. David Barnard bowled well for his 4-16 while David Anthony added 3-18. The Saints managed to stay in the hunt but left themselves just a touch too much to do in the final overs. David Lapsley’s excellent 52 gave them a chance after Michael Rankin had made 25, but a couple of wickets for former Saint, Ryan Macbeth saw the visitors home by 17 runs.
Newbuildings kept pace at the top however after they had 18 to spare in a keenly contested game at Newbuildings. Gareth McKeegan blasted 5 sixes and 4 fours in his 67 as the home side set a target of 130-6 from their alotted overs. There were a couple of wickets each for Ben Mills and Ryan Barr as Glendermott kept their hosts within range. A superb 62 from Mattie Barr (4 fours, 4 sixes) kept the game on an edge, but despite Mills chipping in with 19, the Rectory side couldn’t quite pull it off. The group is really nicely coming to the boil for when the top two meet shortly at Beechgrove in a winner-take-all duel.
That could be an afternoon’s entertainment!