Thrilling day of cup cricket as quarter-finals decided in the sun

Brigade, Donemana, Eglinton and Newbuildings will be eagerly awaiting next week’s semi-final draw in the Sports Hub senior cup after the quartet came through their respective last eight ties in Saturday’s glorious conditions.

Bonds Glen, Burndennett, St Johnston and Strabane are likewise through to the semi-finals of the Sam Jeffrey Shield, the draw for which will also take place in the coming days.

The day’s biggest surprise came at Magheramason, and maybe not so much that Eglinton beat Bready in the blue riband competition, but more so in the manner of their win.

Chasing the villagers total of 189, the home side were bowled out for a paltry 61 after Mark Averill ran through the batting order to collect figures of 6-35. Jamie Millar chipped in with 2-20 but this was a really disappointing effort from the hosts with the bat.

Andy Millar’s 85 (7 fours, 2 sixes) had teed up the visitors’ decent total, with only Lahiru Dilshan (25) making anything else of note as Gavin Roulston (3-32) and David Rankin (2-31) bowled well for Ian Young’s side.

As it was however, 189 was plenty as Eglinton made it into the final four with 128 runs to spare.

Eglinton weren’t the only unseeded team to make it through either as a very familiar face returned for Newbuildings to haunt top seeds and current league Champions Ardmore at Foyle View Arena. Johnny Thompson came out of his short retirement to play in Round 1 against Strabane and he was back in the side on Saturday to play a key part as Gareth McKeegan’s men also emerged from the quarter-finals.

The home side had looked in trouble when reduced to 35-3 chasing Ardmore’s 272 before a 112-run fourth wicket stand between Ryan Hunter (72) and Ross Dougherty (52) started the fightback. Even so, wickets continued to fall and Newbuildings were 194-6 when ‘JT’ was joined by Mark Hanna, still needing 79 to win.

The former Ireland ‘A’ all-rounder made light of that however; he thumped 8 sixes and 4 fours in an excellent 74* with Hanna adding 23* as Newbuildings got over the line without any further loss.

Ardmore would have been really buoyed by a brilliant knock from Number 9 Dave Bezzant who smashed 7 sixes and 6 fours in his 27-ball 76 not out as they added 95 runs from the final 40 balls of their innings.

Skipper Rachit Gaur (54) and Harry Zimmermann (49) had earlier shared a 116-run stand for the second wicket while Mark Chambers (24*) played his part at the other end while Bezzant went on the rampage late on.

The Hunter boys Ryan (2-32) and Ross (2-36) were best with the ball, but the final word in this one was saved for the definitely not retired Johnny Thompson.

Serial cup winners Donemana were given an early scare at Glendermott before cruising through by 166 runs.

Despite 40 from Andy McBrine, 30 from Raymond Curry and 28 from William McClintock, the visitors were reduced to 135-7 at one point of their innings before Levi Dougherty took matters into his own hands to turn the contest on its head.

Dougherty and William McBrine (23) added a stand worth 72 for the eighth wicket and then he and Gary Neely put on another 51 for the last as Donemana set a target of 277. Levi’s final tally was 110 which came off 61 balls and included 10 sixes and 6 fours.

Ben Mills returned figures of 5-54- very impressive in the circumstances- but you sensed Glendermott had missed their chance.

Alan Johnson batted defiantly for his 42 (6 fours, 2 sixes) and Mills chipped in with 23, however Rumesh Buddhika (3-15) and two wickets apiece for Gary Neely, Gary McClintock and Raymond Curry comfortably sealed Donemana’s name in the hat.

Coleraine will probably be kicking their heels a little too after they lost at Brigade. Craig Averill hit 76 (10 fours, 2 sixes), Scott Campbell 50 and Marcus Poskitt 20 as the Bannsiders reached 153-1, before completely falling away.

David Barr was the main architect- his 5-20 and 2-30 from Iftikhar Hussain seeing the last 9 wickets fall for the addition of just 43 runs.

The home side needed no second invitation after that as Hussain (42) and Barr (38) got them off to a good start before Scott Macbeth’s 64 (5 fours, 3 sixes) eased Andy Britton’s men into the semi-finals.

In the Sammy Jeffrey, an excellent bowling performance from Strabane earned them a 7-wicket win at home to Ballyspallen.

John Mooney (4-9), Usman Azhar (3-24) and Andrew Mullen (2-6) did the damage as only Graham Kennedy (16) offered much resistance in a total of 59 all out.

To be fair to Graham he looked in fine fettle, hitting four boundaries in his first innings since arriving home from Australia, but Strabane had little trouble knocking off the required runs.

Aaron Gillespie made 24 and Rhys Logue 15* with ‘GK’ picking up 2-23 with the ball.

Steve Moore made 87 (11 fours, 6 sixes) and Richard Wylie 77 (11 fours, 2 sixes) as The Nedd set Burndennett a total of 259 in Ballykelly.

Ross McCay had figures of 4-49 and Conan Pollock 2-21, but an 83 run partnership for the first wicket between Mark Doherty (36) and Mark Pollock (32) and an unbroken fifth wicket stand between Niall McDonnell (83*) and Andy Barr (56*) steered ‘Dennett into the semi-finals.

Bonds Glen recorded an impressive 58-run verdict at Fox Lodge- Heinrich Roberts making 74, David Cooke 60, Divan Posthumus 25 and Kyle Moore 20* for the visitors while Jason Milligan and Gayan Maneeshan picked up three wickets each for the Foxes.

TJ Nicholl top scored with 41 in the reply with Jordan McIntyre (40) and Charlie Simpson (29) also among the runs, however Posthumus (4-31) and Sam Kincaid (2-20) did enough to book the Bee Gees place in the draw.

And St Johnston will make up the final four after they beat Killyclooney by 7 wickets in Tyrone.

Jamal Anwar hit 11 fours and 2 sixes as he carried his bat to make 89 not out helping Clooney post 199-8 from their allotted overs. Jordan Connor added 25 with David Anthony (3-38), Michael Rankin (2-24) and Graeme McCarter (2-44) faring best of the Saints’ attack.

Rankin was among the runs too- 8 fours and 6 sixes in his 84 not out while Shirzad (34), McCarter (33*) and Deepak Reddy (27) ensured a smooth passage for the Donegal side.



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