Fox Lodge and Newbuildings into NW Senior Cup final

Semi-final weekend in the North West was concluded on Sunday afternoon with Fox Lodge and Newbuildings winning their way through to this season’s blue riband final at the start of next month.

Both teams will be competing in their first ever senior cup final following impressive performances against Eglinton and Bready respectively.

Many felt that the loss of Marco Marais would be the death knell for Fox Lodge, especially with Brian Allen on holiday. The Ballymagorry club however opted to bring in a replacement overseas player, and what a shout that turned out to be.

Aaron Heywood won the toss and opted to bat first and Jason Milligan (21) and Travis Nicholl got the visitors off to a great start with a 61-run partnership. Nicholl and Luke Hayes took it to 97- ‘TJ’ moving to his half century before being dismissed soon after for a well made 52 (6 fours, 2 sixes).

That brought the new ‘pro’ Geeth Kumara to the middle and he and Hayes added another 38 before the latter was out for 40.

The Sri Lankan, currently living in the UK, found another willing partner in Craig Doherty and those two piled on 91 more for the fifth wicket before Doherty went for 37.

Kumara had started very patiently but he certainly let the handbrake off at the back end of the innings- thumping 7 sixes and 4 fours in his 82-ball 108.

All of that meant the Tyrone side were able to set a target of 290-6 in their 50 overs; Richard Wylie (2-44 from 10 overs) faring best of the hosts’ bowling.

Eglinton rarely looked on target at any point if truth be told and although Mike Erlank battled defiantly, his 70 (4 fours, 4 sixes) was by some way the best of their 129 all out.

Foxies’ skipper Aaron Heywood was absolutely outstanding in the win- captaining the side really well and then returning figures of 5-19 in a thoroughly emphatic success.

Newbuildings will provide the opposition in next month’s final after they edged out Bready in a game that ebbed and flowed all afternoon.

The home side were cock-a-hoop as they reduced the current league title holders to 37-3 early on before Jamie Magee and Scott Macbeth (19) started a bit of a fightback.

Magee scored 60 (8 fours) before falling to Johnny Thompson, before a 45-run stand between Conor Olphert (35) and David Scanlon (23) helped edge the visitors up towards 200.

Gregory McFaul with a late cameo saw the final total set at a competitive 211- Trent McKeegan (3-32), Jared Wilson (2-36) and Johnny Thompson (2-52) shared the bulk of the wickets for Newbuildings.

Bready needed to start well with the ball, but were soon in trouble- a clearly struggling Conor Olphert coming out of the attack after just 11 deliveries having sent down 8 wides and a no ball in his short spell.

Ryan Hunter’s 34 and a couple of cameos from Mark Hanna (19) and Ross Dougherty (14) kept the reply ticking over, but it was to be the concession of a whopping 57 extras that was to be the Magheramason side’s undoing.

Even then, after Ian Young had removed the dangerous Hunter, Newbuildings still looked in bother- 56 runs short with just three wickets in hand.

Ross Hunter and Jordan McCorkell had other ideas however and their 34 and 25 not out respectively kept Bready at bay and sent their own side into the final.

Coleraine will meet Brigade in the Sam Jeffrey final; Scott Campbell’s dogged 84, a late 29* from Gareth Burns and 20 from Ben Johnston helping the Bannsiders to 176-7 at the Rectory.

Nathan McGuire used conditions really well to return figures of 2-15 from 10 overs.

Bob Robinson (20) was best of the home side’s top order before a late 39 from Tylor Moore gave the huge crowd something to cheer about.

It was to matter little in the grander scheme of things however; four wickets for Burns and two apiece for Campbell, Ravi Karunaratne and Stephen Hutchinson as Glendermott closed on 116 and a 60-run defeat.

An Iftikhar Hussain century helped Brigade to clinch the other final spot as they won very easily at the Park.

Hussain hit 8 fours and 2 sixes in his 114 with support coming in the form of Kyle Magee (44), Andy Britton (39*) and Adam McDaid (38) in a final total of 301-6.

Ryan Gallagher was the pick of the Red Caps bowling with 4-51 from his 10 overs.

The same player top scored with 32 in the reply; Ernest Musuku and Rhys Logue both adding 22 as the innings closed well short on 136 all out.

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