Plenty still at stake as honours even after Day 1.
There looks to be a cracking day of cricket in store on Saturday after Day 1 of the North West Senior Cup and the Sammy Jeffrey Shield finished with both matches still in the balance. There was plenty of rain around for most of Friday morning which meant late starts and slightly difficult scoring conditions, but plenty of thrills and spills as well.
A 90 minute delay at Eglinton saw the hosts inserted after Brigade won the toss and they found the going tough against a disciplined attack with Ryan Macbeth (3-26) taking the first three wickets to fall.
Ross Allen (2-18) dismissed Jamie Millar and Mark Averill cheaply, and when Craig Averill’s (46) obdurate resistance was ended by Iftikhar Hussain, Eglinton looked well below par at 128 for 7 after 46 overs.
However, 42 runs were plundered from the final four overs as skipper Andy Millar (41*) cleared the ropes twice, adding what could be very precious runs with Mattie Mills (16*).
A final total of 170 for 7 gave the Eglinton attack something to defend, and after a steady start by Brigade openers David Barr and Hussain, Lee Ritchie got the breakthrough on 39 as he trapped the latter lbw for 20.
Richard Wylie held on to a sharp return catch via his knee from Adam McDaid (5), but Barr and Kyle Magee looked largely untroubled as they added 51 for the third wicket, before Magee (20) was lbw to Simon Dunn.
Barr had looked assured as he made 60 from 92 balls (7 fours, 1 six) but his dismissal just before bad light stopped play at 126 for 4 in 33 overs, means Eglinton have genuine hopes of staying in the match.
As always, that first hour will be crucial on Day 2. With 6 wickets still in hand a lead looks assured for the Beechgrove side, but the villagers need to bowl well to keep it manageable.
It was a similar story in the Sammy Jeffrey Final which started 30 minutes late at Strabane Park.
Batting first Strabane posted 150 for 9, with Tanvir Hassan top scoring with 39 and Khushpal Singh an unbeaten 32.
Reece Laird took 2 for 12 in his ten overs, while there was also a brace for Glendermott skipper Alan Johnson (2-12) and overseas professional Nauman Anwar (2-31).
Anwar has been in prolific form recently and he raced out of the blocks hitting 6 fours and a six in his 42 from 38 balls, sharing an opening stand of 54 with Bob Robinson (39).
Craig Mooney chipped in with 21, but Strabane kept it tight as Glendermott were bowled out for 176 – two wickets apiece for Ryan Gallagher (2-37), Rhys Logue (2-31) and Tom Harpur (2-31).
Play in both matches continues on Saturday at 11am.