Brigade win Faughan Valley last-ball thriller
Brigade won a thrilling last-ball Faughan Valley Cup final at sun-splashed Eglinton this afternoon as the Beechgrove side snatched the trophy out of the grasp of the villagers in truly dramatic fashion. In one of the best finals the competition has ever seen, Brigade needed three to win from the very last ball which Ryan Barr duly smashed over the cover boundary for six as the Beechgrove side stunned the big home crowd.
Chasing 161, Brigade on 59 for 2 looked to be out of it at the halfway point of the chase, but David Barr and Iftikhar Hussain took 30 from the next two overs and suddenly it was very much game on. Even then though it looked as if a 5-run penalty, incurred when the former Pakistan A player failed to cross with the outgoing batsman on the field of play, might end up stealing the headlines.
Both players went on to make half centuries from 35 balls, with Barr hitting 6 fours and a six, and Hussain 4 fours and 3 sixes.
The momentum of the game ebbed and flowed and when Hussain went, it looked as if the game was there for the hosts with 31 still needed from the last three overs, which then became 24 off 2, with Ryan Barr and Ryan Macbeth in the middle.
Macbeth then found the boundary three times in the penultimate over, bowled by hosts skipper Andy Millar to leave nine needed from the last.
A dot was followed by two for Barr, and when Macbeth was run out off the third ball coming back for the second, six were needed from the last three.
A leg-bye, was followed by a wide then a single to Simon Olphert to set up the last ball finale, which Barr duly delivered with his maximum.
Man of the Match Andy Millar made an unbeaten 76 from 61 balls (5 fours, 4 sixes) in the Eglinton innings, sharing a fifth wicket stand of 79 in eight overs with Tommy Orr, whose 39 came off just 26 balls (3 fours, sixes).
Ross Allen conceded just six runs in his four-overs spell taking two wickets: otherwise the villagers would have been on course for 180-plus.
Heartbreak for Eglinton in front of their home support, with former favourite Hendy Wallace on site to present the trophy.
Brigade will now represent the region in the All-Ireland T20 semi-finals at the end of next month, joining Carrickfergus, Merrion and Cork Harlequins.
Faughan Valley T20 Cup Final
At Eglinton, Brigade beat Eglinton by 2 wickets
Eglinton 160/5 (20 overs; Andy Millar 76no, Tommy Orr 39; Ross Allen 2-6, Iftikhar Hussain 2-31)
Brigade 164/8 (20 overs; Iftikhar Hussain 51, David Barr 50; Richard Wylie 2-19, Robbie Millar 2-25)