Premiership race heating up while Foxies reach All-Ireland women’s final
It was a busy Sunday for North West sides with no fewer than six rearranged Long’s SuperValu league matches played, while Fox Lodge were at Stormont for their All-Ireland Women’s T20 semi-final replay against CSNI.
And it was the Ballymagorry girls who stole the headlines with a 9-run (DLS) success after rain reduced their contest to a 5-over bash.
Batting first, Mollie Devine (24*), Lucy Neely (19*) and Sarah Black (17) had combined to get the Foxies to 76-1 after 11 overs before the weather set in.
When the rain finally relented there was just time for the hosts to face 5 overs, with the revised target now 50 to win from 30 balls.
Mollie and Lucy opened up with the ball as well; taking 2-16 and 1-16 respectively- meaning Kara Bates had to keep her one over below 17 to ensure the win for her side.
Despite going for a boundary off the first delivery, the skipper stuck to her guns and CI only managed another 4 in total from the rest of the over as the jubilant visitors booked their place in the decider against Merrion at Malahide at the end of the month.
In the men’s senior league, Brigade won the battle of the top two with an impressive 73-run success over leaders Bready.
David Barr was again the man-of-the-moment for the Beechgrove boys- his commanding 77 along with a quick 39 from Ryan Macbeth and 25 from Cameron Melly helping the hosts set 194-7 from their 37 overs.
Ian Young backed up Saturday’s six wickets with 2-37 here, but with skipper Davy Scanlon hobbling out of the attack after just three deliveries, Bready just looked a shade light.
In a moment of wonderful irony, ‘Sca’ decided to stand at first slip while Dean McCloskey finished his over and Iftikhar Hussain then edged the last ball right down the Bready captain’s throat.
That was to be as good as it got for the Magheramason side however as their batting failed to fire in reply.
Kyle Magee top scored with 38 on his return to the Limavady Road while David Rankin hit 34; however ‘Turf’ with 3-13, Jamie Millar (2-22) and ‘Ifti’ (2-35) closed out a 73-run victory that leaves Brigade only 6 points behind with a game in hand.
Ardmore nearly stumbled again for the second day running before an unbroken 69-run eighth wicket partnership between Sabin Babu (40*) and Mark Chambers (21*) helped them past Bonds Glen.
Rachit Gaur’s 46 and 22 from Muhammad Edrees was the best up to that point as the Bleachgreen side recovered from 97-7 chasing 159.
Heinrich Roberts claimed 3-36 and Mark Snodgrass 2-23; Roberts having also fared best with the bat as he scored 61 (5 fours, 3 sixes).
David Cooke’s 40 and 24 from Matty Barr had helped the Bee Gees to their total, but it was Sabin and Chambers who were to have the final say.
Killyclooney lost for the second time in as many days as they found Coleraine too hot to handle at Sandel Lodge.
Timmy Dougherty made 45 and Kenzie Hall 42 in the visitors total of 160- Gareth Burns with 4-28 including the prized scalp of Blayde Capell.
Scott Campbell’s 72, 29 from Marcus Poskitt and an unbroken stand between Ravi Karunaratne (20*) and Matthew Hutchinson (17*) ensured the win that keeps the Bannsiders in the top eight.
Eglinton are really on the march at the minute and the villagers moved into fifth with a facile win at home to Glendermott.
Skipper Ben Mills made 34 not out and Jake Montgomery 16 as the visitors batted first; recovering from 2-4 and 39-9 to eventually score 63 all out.
Jamie Millar, Mark Averill and Mike Erlank all picked up three wickets apiece in the melee; albeit the hosts lost a couple of wickets in reply before Erlank’s 20 not out and 20 from opener Liam Doherty bagged the points.
And Fox Lodge kept their place in the top half as they replicated the girls’ efforts in Belfast with a cosy win at home to Ballyspallen.
Zeeshan Malik (30) was the only one of the Roe Valley’s batsmen to make it to double figures in a total of 82-9 in a heavily reduced 24 over contest.
Jonny Robinson (3-5) and Aaron Heywood (3-9) did the damage with the ball leaving Jason Milligan (35 not out) to secure a valuable 7-wicket win.
With matches running out- Bready, Brigade, and Ardmore have no doubt all done enough for a top eight place this season, while Killyclooney should be safe as well but will want another win to make sure.
That would leave Eglinton, Newbuildings, Coleraine, Fox Lodge, Donemana and possibly St Johnston (the last two with games in hand) to battle out the remaining places.
There’s definitely an interesting few weeks ahead before the curtain falls.
LONG’S SUPERVALU SENIOR LEAGUE- CURRENT STANDINGS
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