Donemana and Newbuildings to contest Sports Hub senior cup final

Bright sunshine greeted semi-finals day across the North West on Sunday as twelve sides battled it out to reach the finals of the men’s and women’s senior cup competitions as well as the Sam Jeffrey Shield.

And while the hope was that we’d be able to make the most of the unusually perfect conditions, the reality was that all six games were more or less settled very quickly, with wide-margin winners in all of them.

Heading into the weekend, few would have risked a bet on Newbuildings v Brigade however after a bit of a mauling at Donemana on Saturday the Beechgrove side were unable to turn it around when they went to Foyle View for Sunday’s 11am start.

Tellingly, Andy Britton lost the toss in both games, and while they say the toss doesn’t win or lose cricket games, history is littered with occasions when they were wrong.

Brigade’s batting let them down in Donemana and irrespective of the toss, it did so again at Newbuidings.

Having lost Iftikhar Hussain and Adam McDaid early in the piece, Scott Macbeth (21) and David Barr (16) got the board moving to some degree as Brigade reached 65-2 batting first.

The re-introduction of Jason Dunn into the attack however was to turn the game on its head with only Marcello Piedt (25) and Ryan Barr (20) offering any meaningful resistance as ‘Bull’ returned figures of 5-25 to take the match away from the visitors.

It was no surprise to see Johnny Thompson’s name on the home team-sheet, having played in every round, and both ‘JT’ and Trent McKeegan with 2-5 and 2-29 respectively, made sure there would be no late revival from the Brigade tail.

Indeed in the final reckoning it was ‘extras’ with 27 who went highest in Brigade’s 142 all out and with a cup final spot at stake, McKeegan’s men were never going to miss from there.

To be fair, the visitors came out all guns blazing with Piedt having Dunn caught for 5 and skipper Britton doing for his mate an opposite number McKeegan to leave the hosts 16-2.

Ryan Hunter and Samarth Seth picked up the gauntlet from there however; Hunter unbeaten at the winning line on 52 with the India batsman Seth hitting 11 fours and a six as he also hit 52 to send their side into the final with a 7-wicket win.

It was something of an anti-climax at the Holm too as Donemana sent Eglinton in to bat and sent them back again quite quickly defending a very modest target of 119.

Jamie Millar’s late cameo of 21 was best of that with cameos from Adam Lamberton (18), Matty Mills (17), Andy Lucas (15) and Robert McFarland (14) accounting for most of the balance.

Gary Neely bowled superbly for his 3-5 from 6 overs with skipper Gary McClintock adding 3-32 and Rumesh Buddhika 2-38.

Like Newbuildings, Donemana also lost a couple of quick wickets before twins William (57*) and Gary McClintock (44*) put together an unbroken 95-run stand to seal an 8-wicket win and set up a mouth-watering showdown at Beechgrove at the back-end of next month.

The Sammy Jeffrey semi-final at Strabane Park looked the hardest to call, but the Red Caps made very short work of Bonds Glen’s batting order on the day; dismissing the Kildoag side for a paltry 54.

Samuel Haslett (11) and Heinrich Roberts (10) fared best of the unusually out-of-sorts Bee Gees with John Mooney (3-7), Nasir Nawar (3-9) and Andrew Mullen (3-12) doing the damage.

Nawar (20*) and Aaron Gillespie (14*) ensured there were no dramas in Strabane reaching the decider with 9 wickets to spare.

It was certainly a day when putting teams in to bat was very much in vogue, however St Johnston haven’t done that since the great storm of 1943, and thank God form them as their semi-final against Burndennett was a run-fest.

Batting first here, Jack Macbeth hit 8 fours and a six in a superb 102 and the young opener had loads of support from Michael Rankin (64- 5 sixes, 2 fours), David Lapsley (45), and Subhan Shirzad (42) as the hosts posted 300-4 in their 50 overs.

Ross McCay (2-64) was the most successful bowler for ‘Dennett who actually gave this a real go in reply. Just as with the Saints, it was the visitors’ top order of Mark Doherty (92*), Mark Pollock (54) and Niall McDonnell (50) who gave their side some sort of chance, but they just never got ahead of the rate.

Skipper David Anthony picked up 2-64 as ‘Dennett ran out of time with their score on 249-5 in what was a thoroughly entertaining game of cricket.

That result of course sets up another fascinating two-day final that sees the current pace-setters in the Long’s SuperValu Premier Section 2 table face off in an enthralling contest.

No surprise either in the Women’s senior cup where once again, Bready will meet Fox Lodge in the decider.

The league leaders were put in to bat at Eglinton and promptly racked up 248-3 from their 30 overs with Alana Dalzell superb 137 not out accounting for most of those.

The Ireland International hit 8 boundaries in her 100-ball knock with support coming from Mansi Bhavsar who made 49 in a 129-run stand between the pair.

It was always going to be too rich for the villagers, although Arianna McKenna showed her quality with 43 at the top of the order. In the end though the reply closed on 134-8 as Kaylee Barnard picked up 3-12 and Erin Mowbray 2-18 to book Bready’s place in the decider.

Fox Lodge have won the cup in five of the past six years and they will provide the opposition after a bloodless win over Strabane at Ballymagorry.

The Red Caps are very much finding their way at this level and were all out for 32 here as Kacey Laird picked up 5-10 with two wickets each for Lucy Blair and Tanisha Hussain.

Lucy Neely (19*) and Sarah Black (10*) took care of the reply to set up yet another showdown between the top two.



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