Newbuildings, Glendermott and Donemana win on final weekend of season
The curtain fell on this strangest of local cricket seasons on Saturday afternoon – Donemana’s All-Ireland T20 final in Belfast next weekend notwithstanding.
It was to end in very sad circumstances with the sudden death of local supporter and photographer Billy Given following the Faughan Valley Cup final between Newbuildings and Fox Lodge. Billy was treated at the venue having just photographed the Newbuildings team that had won the trophy and his passing totally overshadowed the closing stages of the season.
Billy was extremely popular around the NW grounds and his death is a shock to everyone. A tribute to Billy can be found here
Donemana v CIYMS
Donemana now have one more game to play in Belfast next weekend having made it through to the national T20 final with a superb win. The Holm men met CIYMS in their All-Ireland semi-final at Bready and against the odds, secured a 1-run victory (DLS) over the NCU high-fliers.
Batting first, the Belfast outfit were in trouble at 7-2 early on before a 92-run partnership between Jason van der Merwe and Chris Dougherty brought them right back into the match. Van der Merwe thumped 5 sixes and 3 fours in his 58 with former Bready batsman Dougherty hitting 4 fours and 3 sixes on his way to 48. The spinners dominated for Donemana- Jordan McGonigle picking up 4-33 while William McBrine took plenty of confidence from his efforts in last week’s senior cup final to post a superb 2-8 from 4 overs.
Set a target of 141 the rain arrived 10 overs into the Tyrone team’s reply with them 61-1. Andy McBrine was unbeaten on 29 and William McClintock 16* and with the par score 60 at that stage, an abandonment left Donemana winners by the barest of margins. They will now play the winners of the Leinster v Munster club semi final next Saturday with the winners of that to play CI on Sunday for the right to go to La Manga at the start of next season.
Newbuildings v Fox Lodge
The two domestic cup finals also went right down to the wire starting at Newbuildings where the home side played Fox Lodge for the Faughan Valley Cup. Mark Heywood hit 5 sixes and 4 fours in his entertaining 60 while Jason Milligan (34) and Jonny Robinson (30) helped the visitors post 169-5 from their 20 overs. The pair shared an 82-run stand that helped the Foxies recover from an excellent effort with the ball from Johnny Thompson who claimed 4-17.
Skipper Gareth McKeegan hit 4 sixes and 4 fours as his 47 made sure the home side stayed up with the pace early on in their reply. Chris Cooper’s 34 (4 sixes and 2 fours) came at precisely the right time for Newbuildings and that innings, coupled with 26 from Mark Hanna got them over the winning line with just one ball to spare.
The celebrations were cut short however as the other events were unfolding.
Glendermott v Ardmore
The final game of the day, and indeed the domestic season saw Glendermott claim the Eric Cooke cup in front of their own supporters. Credit both themselves and Ardmore who took the field in less than ideal conditions to play the final 5 overs to ensure a result on the day.
The home side were asked to make 40 runs from those 30 deliveries and that they did with just two to spare. Scott Laird made 21 of those and although Sean Gormley picked up 2-2 to keep the game on a knife edge, Glendermott had just enough about them.
Earlier, Jarred Wilson (54) and David Bezzant (26) had fared best in Ardmore’s 122-8. Steve Moore bowled well for his side and played a major role in ensuring it was their day.
It was a competitive end to a summer in which sport has been put sharply into perspective. And ironic that it finished in the same way.