Brigade open up senior table with narrow win over Donemana
It was a day of tight finishes as the North West senior league table began to take shape on Saturday afternoon with Brigade’s 10-run victory over Donemana leaving the top eight teams separated by just five points at the end of Week 3.
Just three teams remain unbeaten in the league so far- Bready, who didn’t play this weekend, St Johnston, who’ve played twice and Ardmore who have still only played one league fixture so far.
Donemana stay top of the pile for now despite their reverse at Beechgrove where a man-of-the-match performance from Scott Macbeth helped the home side overcome their old adversaries.
The North West Warriors all-rounder hit 6 sixes and 2 fours in his 33-ball 65 not out as Brigade posted 240-6 in their 40 overs.
A 127-run partnership between Adam McDaid (72) and Iftikhar Hussain (56) had set a great platform for Andy Britton’s side to attack the final overs, however Macbeth’s innings really changed the impetus of the match.
An unbroken seventh wicket stand of 72 between Scott and his brother Ryan (22 not out) came off the last 35 deliveries and left the visitors with an uphill battle to preserve their own unbeaten start to the season.
Kyle Dougherty was the pick of the Donemana bowlers with figures of 4-50 and to their credit, they stayed in the hunt the whole way through their reply.
Despite the loss of early wickets, a century stand between Geeth Kumara and William McClintock definitely gave the Holm side a fighting chance of chasing down the target.
McClintock was first to go for a swashbuckling 58 (5 fours, 4 sixes) and while Geeth- who played for Fox Lodge in last year’s senior cup final- batted superbly for his 96 (6 fours, 5 sixes) it was to prove just beyond their reach.
Late wickets for Andy Britton (4-45) added to two apiece for those Macbeth boys saw Donemana’s innings close 10 short on 230-9.
Fox Lodge have recovered really well from their surprise defeat at St Johnston on opening day and the Ballymagorry side is unbeaten domestically since then.
They too were involved in a fairly close game at Eglinton where Craig Doherty’s 59 (4 fours, 3 sixes) along with 58 from Jonny Robinson (7 fours, 2 sixes) and 28 from skipper Aaron Heywood helped the cup holders to a total of exactly 200.
Three wickets each for Lee Ritchie, and the Millar boys Andy and Jamie ensured the damage was no greater.
Andy Millar’s 60 (5 fours, 3 sixes) formed the backbone of the villagers’ reply, however only Tommy Orr (19), Robbie Millar (16) and Richard Wylie (15) offered much in the way of support as the reply closed on 174.
The wickets were shared here too- Heywood, Gayan Maneeshan and Ramey Harpur all with two apiece as the Foxes moved into the top half of the table.
There were even closer finishes at both Burndennett and Newbuildings where both home sides lost out in one-wicket defeats.
Andy Barr hit 66 (9 fours, 2 sixes) while Derek Curry added 33 not out and Corey Roulston 31 as ‘Dennett set St Johnston a target of 205.
Jacob Maroske (3-30) and Nathan Cole (3-48) were best with the ball for the Saints who then needed a huge effort with the bat from their new player/coach Graeme McCarter to get over the line.
At 67-7 the Donegal men looked dead and buried before a 74-run stand between McCarter and Nathan Cole (32) gave them a glimmer of hope.
John McGettigan then picked up the wickets of Cole and David Anthony in the same over to leave the visitors needing 65 with the last pair at the wicket.
That was when McCarter came into his own- hitting 11 fours and 10 sixes in a magnificent 124 not out as the visitors somehow got the win.
Scott Devenney’s share in the last wicket stand of 67 was 4 not out but it was vital nonetheless in sending the points back into the EU.
Ross McCay (3-22) and Mark Pollock (3-26) bowled well in defeat for the hosts.
Mark Hanna top scored with 90 as Newbuildings made 273-6 at home to Coleraine.
Ross Dougherty added 45, Hanu Viljoen 40 and Ryan Hunter 24 while Matthew Hutchinson (2-52) was the most successful bowler in the first innings.
Marcus Poskitt however was back at the top of his form for the Bannsiders as he held the reply together with a brilliant 123 (19 fours, 5 sixes).
Matty Smyth (43), Matthew Hutchinson (34) and Rory Knox (21) took turns to back Poskitt up, but it took an intervention of a different kind to seal the deal in this one.
The umpires subsequently awarded 12 penalty runs to the north coast side at the end of the 38th over for what appears to be a slow over rate, meaning Paddy Carson’s 11 not out was enough to give Coleraine the win by 1 wicket.
It was a bit of a surreal end to the contest but one that keeps Coleraine in those coveted top eight places.
Strabane’s impressive domestic form continued too as they thumped Ballyspallen by 196 runs.
Overseas man Nasir Nawaz was again in the runs as he blasted 16 fours and 5 sixes in his 121.
Nawaz got loads of support from bang-in-form Aaron Gillespie who hit 7 fours and 4 sixes on his way to 83 while Ryan Gallagher also found his best form with an unbeaten 71 (4 fours, 3 sixes).
Gallagher and Rhys Logue shared an unbroken partnership of 80 as the Red Caps racked up 323-3 from their 40 overs.
Stephen Kennedy’s 44 at the top of the order was by far ‘Spallen’s best effort with the bat, with James Thompson (13) and Stuart Kennedy (13) the only others to get into double figures in a total of 127.
Logue (4-23) and Vadivel Moorthy (4-24) completed the formalities in an excellent away day for Strabane.
And in the day’s other game, Glendermott’s overseas man Gihan Cloete was also on the century trail- he hit 20 fours and 6 sixes in his unbeaten 139 with Leyland McElwee adding 51 in a total of 218 all out- leaving 28 runs shared among the rest, and 13 of those were wides!
Timmy Dougherty (3-41) was the pick of the Clooney bowlers, however it was their batters- and Blayde Capell and Kenzie Hall in particular who did the damage.
Capell, quickly establishing himself as a real entertainer hit 12 fours an 10 sixes in his unbeaten 135- sharing an unbroken second wicket stand of 212 with Hall who added 78 not out- as ‘Clooney notched up their second league win by an impressive 9 wickets.
Glendermott remain rooted to the bottom and will need to find a way to support Cloete if they are to challenge the top half of the table.