Tough scoring conditions mark start of new season

The 2024 Long’s SuperValu Premier League is up and running with all but one of the eight scheduled fixtures played to a conclusion across the two senior sections.

Fox Lodge’s home game against Strabane was the only casualty on an opening day that by and large saw batters having to work considerably harder for their runs.

That was definitely the case at Donemana where visitors Newbuildings were dismissed for 141 batting first; new overseas man Samarth Seth scoring 80*of those on his first dig in these parts.

The Indian all-rounder hit 10 fours and 4 sixes in his innings, but only Jason Dunn (23) showed any real desire to keep him company.

William McBrine fared best with the ball for the hosts with 3-26, while Gary McClintock (2-15) and Adam Britton (2-21) also chipped in to a solid effort with the ball.

Andy McBrine hit an unbeaten 55 and William McClintock added 37* while DJ Dougherty and Rumesh Buddhika contributed 26 and 24 respectively in a comfortable 7-wicket win.

Brigade started positively as well and despite being put in in testing conditions at Eglinton, Andy Britton’s side recorded a 74-run success.

Scott Macbeth showed his quality with a hardworking 52, while Adam McDaid and Iftikhar Hussain both scored 32 and Cameron Melly 24 in the Beechgrove men’s total of 182-7.

The villagers’ new overseas pro Lahiru Dilshan bowled well for his 3-43 however they came up well short in reply.

Liam Doherty’s 33 was best of their 109 all out; Macbeth topping of an excellent all-round performance with 4-20 while Hussain, Marcello Piedt and David Barr sharing the other six wickets equally.

Bready made short work of Killyclooney at Magheramason, posting a 9-wicket success on their seasonal bow.

William Finlay top scored with 34 and Kenzie Hall added 24 as ‘Clooney set a target of 137; new Bready professional Parth Palawat helping himself to figures of 5-38 while new skipper Ian Young added 3-27.

Ryan Clarke made an unbeaten 69 and David Rankin 35 as Bready easily claimed the points.

Champions Ardmore didn’t fare quite so well however as the Bleachgreen side lost out to Coleraine by 6 wickets at the start of their title defence.

Skipper Rachit Gaur made 43 for the hosts, but only Haydn Melly (24) and Harry Zimmermann (19) managed to contribute anything else of note in a total of 136.

Scott Campbell was best with the ball for the Bannsiders with figures of 3-32 while Matthew Hutchinson and Lee Ritchie also picked up a couple of wickets apiece.

Campbell was on it with the bat as well- his patient 49 not out, along with 33 from Mattie Smyth and 20 from Marcus Poskitt steering them to a deserved victory.

Bobby Brolly (2-11) was the pick of the champions’ attack on a day when they looked out of sorts.

In Section 2, Bonds Glen posted a bloodless, 10-wicket win over new boys The Nedd.

Jamie Millar scored 31, Jonny Young 22 and Sean Hargan 21 as the Ballykelly side scored 137; Heinrich Roberts taking 3-17, Sam Kincaid 2-30 and overseas man Posthumus 2-30 for the Bee Gees.

Samuel Haslett hit 61 not out and Simon Killen 59 not out as the hosts won very easily.

Glendermott secured a 5-wicket win at Burndennett courtesy of a solid partnership between Manav Chhabra and Ryan Nolan.

Chasing ‘Dennett’s 133, the visitors had been reduced to 73-5, before Chhabra’s unbeaten 50 (6 fours, 3 sixes) and 21 from Nolan got them over the line with no further damage.

Mark Doherty made 29 and Mark and Conan Pollock 25 apiece for Burndennett with Ben Mills (5-25) starring with the ball for the visitors.

Ross McCay and Conan Pollock claimed a brace of early wickets each to leave the game in the melting pot, but they couldn’t split Chhabra and Nolan as Glendermott started with a win.

The final game of the day saw St Johnston defeat Ballyspallen by 7 wickets in Donegal.

Australian James Cusack made 54 for the visitors- a telling innings given that no-one else made it to double figures in their 120-8, while Scott Devenney (4-21) was best with the ball for the Saints.

Deepak Reddy hit 57 not out in the reply while David Lapsley added 31 in a cosy win.

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