Honours even after Sam Jeffrey first innings

Just 14 runs separate Brigade and Coleraine heading into the second innings of the Sam Jeffrey Shield final after a very entertaining day’s play at Newbuildings.

Batsmen were very much on top, and Andy Britton in particular after the Beechgrove skipper’s entertaining century put his side in charge early on.

David Barr’s 40 and 35 from Adam McDaid gave Brigade a solid platform before Coleraine’s bowlers got them back into it. Scott Campbell was excellent; picking up 2-29 from his 10 overs with James Bell, Ravi Karunaratne, Stephen Hutchinson and Gareth Burns all getting a wicket each.

At 89-4 after 20 overs it was anyone’s game before Britton turned on the style- hitting 7 sixes and 6 fours in his unbeaten 105.

Ryan Macbeth chipped in with 25 but the real damage was done in an unbroken stand of 122 between the skipper and Jamie Millar who finished unbeaten on 41.

That effort saw Brigade close their 50 overs on 270-6 and the Bannsiders were soon struggling in reply.

Scott Campbell batted well for his 35 (5 fours, 2 sixes) with Karunaratne making a quick 23, but Mark Simpson (3-41) led the charge as the Bannsiders slumped to 87-5.

A 67-run partnership between Ben Johnson (23) and Varun Chopra dragged them back into it with Chopra and Rory Knox then taking the score to 186.

Varun fell to man-of-the-moment Britton for a well-made 55 (7 fours, 1 six) but Knox continued on to make 45 (3 fours, 3 sixes) as Coleraine closed the gap.

By the end of their 50 overs, the north coast side had replied with 256- just a 14-run deficit, setting it up for a thrilling finale on Saturday (11am).

Sion Mills have a 69-run advantage in the League 2 final at Burndennett after they bowled Newbuildings IIs out for 103.

Jason Bell hit 32 and Leeroy McKeegan 21 for Newbuildings with Lee Finlay (4-36), Glen McCallan (3-11) and TJ Boyd (2-27) doing the damage with the ball.

Sion replied with 172-9 from their 40 overs; Rian McKelvey (36), Andy Lucas (24), Barry Scott (24), Simon Galloway (21) and Sean Barr (21) all among the runs for them.

Graeme Sweeney’s 4-23 and Pushpender Singh (3-43) prevented the damage from being any worse as Newbuildings fought back late on to take six wickets for 56 runs, but Sion still took a sizeable advantage into Saturday.

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