Senior Cup heading ‘Holm’
The North West senior cup trophy was on its way to Donemana after a two year absence on Saturday night following the Tyrone side’s 14-run win over Brigade at Beechgrove.
It was the culmination of a very difficult season for players and organisers alike, however despite the shortened T20 format this year, it was clear that both of these sides were desperate to get their hands on the Union’s blue riband silverware.
Home skipper Andy Britton opted to put the visitors in to bat on winning the toss but the early wicket he craved never came. Instead, Dean Mehaffey and Gary McClintock settled into their game with the former first into his stride. Mehaffey found the boundary a couple of times in the third over and soon McClintock was following him in. The pair took the score to 60 before McClintock was out for 25 shortly after hitting two big sixes.
William McClintock replaced his twin brother and a quick 18 from him took the visitors to 94-1 before the skipper was dismissed to give Ross Allen his second wicket. The former Eglinton spinner had his tail up at that stage and with Donemana looking set to post a target of 160-plus, Allen struck twice more to finish with figures of 4-15 and pull his team back into the contest.
None of the incoming batsmen were able to stick around, however Mehaffey went on to make 45 that included 3 fours and 2 sixes as Donemana posted a competitive 133-6 from their 20 overs. Rachit Gaur and skipper Britton claimed a wicket apiece and at half way, both sides would have been reasonably happy.
Brigade needed a good start but that man Mehaffey struck early with the ball to get rid of the dangerous Ryan Hunter. The same bowler brought a quick end to Kyle Magee’s afternoon soon after as he claimed figures of 2-16- deservedly helping him to the man-of-the-match award. From there on in, Donemana stayed mostly on top although the stubborn David Barr was happy to fight a lone battle.
Spinners Jordan McGonigle (0-16 from 4) and Andy McBrine (2-24) strangled Brigade’s middle overs as the required rate climbed steadily. Barr fought tooth and nail but he was to be crowded out by the Holm side’s attack- the Brigade opener hitting 4 sixes and a four in his valiant 60 not out.
The last word was to fall to William McBrine however- his 2-18 sealing a 13-run winning margin as the cup headed out of Beechgrove after a 2-year residency.
The second final to take place on Saturday was at Ballyspallen where the home side entertained Championship outfit Burndennett. Truth be told the visitors went into the game as favourites having beaten top-flight opponents in Bready and Strabane in the group stages. ‘Spallen hadn’t won a game in their group campaign and they struggled here too as only Graham Kennedy got to grips with the visitors’ attack.
The Warriors man clubbed 3 sixes and a four in a stylish 45 but only opener Andy Christie (15) added anything else of note. Conan Pollock finished with excellent figures of 4-9 as ‘Spallent posted exactly 100 all out. Andy Barr looked impressive as he opened ‘Dennett’s reply and although wickets tumbled at the other end, Barr was playing the same role as his brother was at Beechgrove.
Derek Corscadden (2-12) and Stuart Kennedy (2-23) tried hard to keep the Roe Valley men in the contest, however Barr’s 54 (2 fours, 5 sixes) was enough to steer Mark Mooney’s men to a deserved 4-wicket win.
The Faughan Valley and Eric Cooke finals are still to come next weekend as the curtain falls on this strangest of domestic summers.