Bready on course to retain Premier title
Current North West Premiership champions Bready are on course to retain their crown this season after a telling win over challengers Newbuildings on Saturday.
A solid bowling performance by the home side was the catalyst for their win- Gavin Roulston’s 4-28 from 8 overs was key as Newbuildings lost their last five wickets for the addition of just 24 runs.
Ryan Hunter (40) and Johnny Thompson (27) had combined to get the visitors back into the match after early wickets for Davy Scanlon (2-15), Ian Young and Scott Macbeth had reduced Newbuildings to 35-3.
Thanks to Hunter and Thompson they fought back to post a total of 132 and Bready were in trouble themselves as the reply started shakily.
Jared Wilson picked up 2-28 with wickets for ‘JT’, Trent McKeegan and Ross Hunter as the hosts were struggling on 73-5 before skipper Scanlon picked up the gauntlet.
‘Sca’ hit 6 fours and a six in a pivotal 41 not out, with Ian Young undefeated on 17 after Irosh Samarasooriya had added 23 to the cause- Bready getting home with four wickets to spare.
A bonus-points win over Eglinton in their final game would now be enough to see them pick up another North West senior title.
Cup finalists Fox Lodge continue to catch the eye this season and Aaron Heywood’s side, like Newbuildings, are not out of this race yet after a very narrow win at home to Coleraine.
Varun Chopra batted well to score 56 for the Bannsiders (6 fours, 2 sixes) as he and Scott Campbell (46) posted a 72-run stand for the third wicket as they set a target of 209.
Marcus Poskitt chipped in with 26, Archie Block 23 not out and Mattie Hutchinson 22 with Alastair Doherty (2-33), Jamie McIntyre (2-30) and Adam Walker (2-39) faring best with the ball.
Dean McCarter (49) top scored in the reply with Brian Allen making 30, Jason Milligan 28 and Jonny Robinson a valuable 27 late on.
The Foxes still needed four to win with the last pair at the wicket; Birthday-boy Walker duly obliging to see them over the line.
Stephen Hutchinson (3-22), James Bell (2-26) and Ravi Karunaratne (2-52) tried hard, but Fox Lodge held on for the win.
There was more than a bit of drama at the Bleachgreen where an ambulance had to be called after a player took ill during the game.
Thankfully the home side have a doctor and and a paramedic in their side these days and the player was well looked after until help arrived.
The match itself went right down to the wire too after looking for a long time as though the visitors would win easily.
Chasing 200 to win, Ardmore found themselves 37-6 after Gary McClintock (4-46), and Naved Sawar (2-26) were among the wickets early.
Tyron Koen (17) was the only player in Ardmore’s top six to reach double figures before Mark Chambers chipped in with 25 and then Conor King and Dave Bezzant posted an 89-run stand for the eighth wicket.
King’s 65 (9 fours) was an excellent effort but even when the home side lost their 9th soon after- still 65 runs adrift, they never gave up.
Bezzant resisted superbly to make 46 not out (4 fours, 3 sixes) and last man Thomas Brolly had scored 20 before being out lbw with Ardmore just 2 runs short of the target.
Earlier, William McClintock had made 58 (5 sixes, 3 fours) with Jamie Huey adding 33, Graham Boyd 30 and Sarwar 28 while Dhram Singh returned superb figures of 5-19 and Bezzant 3-33 as Donemana closed on 199.
Brigade won a high-scoring contest at Eglinton after Adam McDaid hit an excellent 117 in their 279-6.
McDaid hit 11 fours and 4 sixes in a quality knock; sharing a 176-run stand with Kyle Magee who scored 81 (7 fours, 3 sixes).
Graeme McCarter chipped in with 29 and Andy Britton 22*, while Richard Wylie (3-48) was best with the ball.
The villagers gave it a real go to be fair- skipper Andy Millar hitting 6 fours and 4 sixes in his 95 with supporting cameos from Mike Erlank (38), Robbie Millar (28), Robbie Logue (23*) and Tommy Orr (20) as they got within 32 runs at the end.
It’s all to play for in the Championship too- St Johnston winning a thriller at Burndennett to keep things on an even keel in that race.
Mark Pollock made an unbeaten 100 (8 fours, 8 sixes) as the home side were all out for 249; Andy Barr (40) and Aaron McDermott (23) keeping him company for a while.
Nathan Cole picked up 3-35, David Anthony 2-25 and Jacob Maroske 2-71 and the Saints’ reply was almost a carbon copy of the first innings.
Michael Rankin anchored the visitors’ batting with 90 not out (5 sixes, 3 fours) with support coming from Jack Macbeth (42), David Lapsley (30), Maroske (22) and Anthony (22).
Mark Snodgrass (3-48) and McDermott (2-56) were the pick of ‘Dennett’s bowlers as the hosts scrapped hard. At one point the Donegal side were cruising on 221-5, but those final 29 runs were almost elusive with the Saints falling over the line with the last pair in the middle.
A century stand between Madhawa Fernando (79) and William Finlay (51)saw Killyclooney post 204-6 in their reduced 38 overs at Strabane Park; Ernest Musuku (4-50) faring best of the home side’s bowling.
Aaron Gillespie (38) and Shami Ahmed (20) got the Red Caps to 51-1 in reply before the wheels came off- Fernando with 5-27 and Mark Gordon 2-20 as Strabane were bowled out for 115.
Ballyspallen recorded a 4-wicket win at the Rectory in the final game of the day where the home side got off to an awful start- losing their top three with just 7 runs on the board.
Jake Montgomery (40), Jason Lynch (32) and Todd Killen (29) led the recovery as Glendermott set a target of 139; Stephen Kennedy (3-18) and Josh Wilson (2-11) best of the Roe Valley bowlers.
Stuart Kennedy’s 49 (5 fours, 3 sixes) broke the back of the reply, with Stephen Kennedy (26) and Steven Kennedy (23) ensuring a 4-wicket win.