Fox Lodge and Eglinton claim final Premiership spots
The group stages of this season’s Long’s SuperValu leagues were completed on Saturday afternoon and we now know the make-up of the divisional play-offs that start later this month.
The Premier Division will feature Bready, Brigade, Ardmore, Fox Lodge, Newbuildings Coleraine, Donemana and Eglinton.
The other seven senior teams- Glendermott, Bonds Glen, Strabane, St Johnston, Ballyspallen, Burndennett and Killyclooney will scrap it out for the Championship trophy.
Donemana needed just a point to confirm their place from Group B and they had to rely on the bonus variety to get them there after losing narrowly at Ballyspallen.
The hosts made 116 as they batted first; a 9th wicket partnership of 40 between Stephen Kennedy (29) and Michael O’Brien (17) playing a major part in their total.
Unfortunately for the Holm side, Andy McBrine’s 26 was the best of their reply- three wickets apiece for Kennedy and O’Brien seeing the visitors dismissed for 110.
Eglinton sealed the fourth spot from Group B courtesy of a 141-run win on the north coast.
Jamie Millar hit 78 (8 fours, 3 sixes) and Mike Erlank 72 (5 fours, 2 sixes) with Andy Millar (33) and Robbie Millar (22*) also chipping in to a total of 245-4 as the villagers batted first.
Mattie Smyth’s 35 was the only innings of note in the Bannsiders’ reply of 104- Richard Wylie (2-6), Erlank (2-15), Andy Millar (2-20) and Mark Averill (2-30) ensuring that the visitors went home with the spoils.
Coleraine had already qualified from the group as they finished in second place in the table behind Newbuildings; Jared Wilson’s side cementing top spot with a turgid 3-wicket win at Burndennett.
Marty Mehaffey’s 37 was the best of ‘Dennett’s 100 all out as Ross Hunter was again among the wickets, claiming figures of 4-19. Skipper Wilson (3-28) and Jordan McCorkell (2-8) tidied up, however it was far from plain sailing for Newbuildings in reply.
Four wickets for Marcello Piedt (4-22) and a couple for Mark Pollock saw the visitors reduced to 74-7 in the chase, with only Jason Dunn (23) getting any sort of start.
Warriors man Trent McKeegan accepted the responsibility however and his 27 not out saw his side over the winning line.
In Group A, Fox Lodge claimed the final top-four place despite a heavy defeat at home to Brigade.
Andy Britton hit 12 fours and 4 sixes in his 91 not out returning to an old stomping ground while Adam McDaid added 68 (7 fours, 4 sixes) in the Beechgrove side’s 226-5.
Ryan Macbeth made 24 not out and David Barr 21 while Jonny Robinson (2-41) fared best of the home team’s bowling.
Fox Lodge never looked likely in their reply; Brian Allen’s 19 the best of their 105 as Ryan Barr (3-19), Iftikhar Hussain (3-30) made life very difficult for the batsmen.
Macbeth’s 2-8 from 8 overs was a brilliant effort too, while Jamie Millar picked up 2-27 in a cosy win.
Bready confirmed top spot in this section with a 3-wicket (DLS) win at Bonds Glen.
Raymond Curry was again among the runs for the Bee Gees as they posted a target of 182 from 31 overs- adjusted to 190 after rain. The Warriors player hit 7 fours and 5 sixes in his 69 while Kyle Moore chipped in with 35 in the lower order.
Davy Scanlon (3-17), Scott Macbeth (3-36) and Gavin Roulston (3-39) did the damage with the ball for the leaders.
Jamie Magee’s 69 (6 fours, 4 sixes) and an unbeaten 64 (5 fours, 6 sixes) from skipper Scanlon (who will now no doubt be claiming all-rounder status) broke the back of Bready’s successful chase.
They did however lose 7 wickets on the way- Derek Curry (2-22) and Curry (2-34) faring best of the ELEVEN bowlers used by the Glen side.
Ardmore had also already qualified prior to their defeat at the Rectory.
Jamal Anwar hit 71 and Bob Robinson 44 as that pair posted a century opening stand, while Ben Mills added 38 and Trevor McDermott 21 in the home side’s 235-9.
Dharm Singh (4-29) was best of the Ardmore attack with Tyron Koen and Harry Zimmerman claiming two wickets apiece.
Mark Chambers top scored with 42 in the visitors’ reply with Sean Gormley adding 37, Zimmerman 26 and Tim Harris 20, but they were always playing catch-up.
McDermott, Nathan McGuire, Todd Killen and Alan Johnson all picked up two wickets each as the Bleachgreen side finished 49 runs short on 186 all out.
In the day’s final game, Peter Gillespie and Paul McNamee were called into action as Strabane were decimated for their game at the Boathole.
David Lapsley’s 75 not out contained 4 fours and 5 sixes while David Anthony and Michael Rankin chipped in 30 and 28 respectively in the Saints’ total of 187-7.
Rhys Logue (3-23) and Tanvir Hasan (2-49) were best with the ball for the Red Caps.
Ryan Gallagher made 24 and former Ireland man Gillespie 23 in the chase, however Rankin (3-17), Jacob Maroske (3-30), Anthony (2-14) and Nathan Cole (2-18) ensured there would be no way back as Strabane closed on 122 all out.