Wins for Newbuildings and Eglinton open up senior title race
The Long’s SuperValu senior title is back in the melting pot once again after Saturday’s round of fixtures saw none of the top four record a win on a day when the weather once again played its part.
Killyclooney were scheduled to sit this weekend out anyway, however Ardmore will be the happiest of the quartet after their match against Fox Lodge was washed out and will be replayed at a later date.
That left leaders Brigade and fellow challengers Bready with the chance to pull clear, however neither could manage what would have been a key win.
The Beechgrove side were beaten in a thriller at home to Newbuildings with just a single run between them at the end of a cracking game.
Man-of-the-moment for Newbuildings was Ross Hunter, who, with the home team only needing three runs from the final four deliveries to win, restricted the batting side to just two leg byes.
Gareth McKeegan’s side had set a target of 171-8 from their 29 overs, with all the top order among the runs.
Ross Dougherty top scored with an even-time 44 with cameos from Jason Dunn (30), Mark Hanna (24) and Johnny Thompson (24).
Skipper Andy Britton (3-13) was the pick of the hosts’ bowling with Ryan Macbeth chipping in with 2-30.
Half centuries from Cameron Melly (71 from 42 balls) and David Barr (56) had taken their side to 155-4- needing 17 from 23 balls, but wickets tumbled as Newbuildings refused to give in.
Melly looked really dangerous and the visitors managed to get him in the nick of time while Barr was out to a quite spectacular catch from ‘Bull’ as the cup finalists battled to the end.
Gregory McFaul (3-18) was best with the ball for them with Charlie Downey adding 2-24, but it was Hunter’s last over (2-34) that proved the difference, and threw the title race wide open.
Bready were undone by a brilliant opening stand of 155 between Eglinton’s Liam Doherty and Andy Millar.
Doherty looked really composed for his 86 not out (8 fours, 2 sixes) while Millar was the perfect foil as he added 53 in a total of 169-2 from 35 overs.
The Magheramason outfit never really got ahead of the rate- Ryan Clarke and Jamie Magee faring best as they scored 25 apiece in the reply.
Doherty was in fine fettle with the ball as well- his 4-8 from 7 overs topping off a superb individual effort as Bready were bowled out for 116.
Mark Averill and Mattie Mills claimed two wickets each and it’s very fair to suggest that had the villagers started the way they’re finishing, they would have been right in the thick of the title race.
There was never likely to be a Premier Division next season without Donemana and the Holm side have definitely been on the move in the last couple of weeks.
The Tyrone side made the trip to Sandel Lodge on Saturday and came away with a fairly comfortable 42-run (DLS) win that moved them into the top half as well.
Andy McBrine (45) and DJ Dougherty (30) fared best with the bat in an opening stand of 72 on a day when scoring was far from easy.
Karl Birkenstock chipped in with 18 not out in a 28-over total of 136-7; James Bell (3-26) and Rory Know (2-8) best with the ball for the Bannsiders.
Matty Smith’s 29 was best of Coleraine’s reply while Gareth Burns added a late unbeaten 21, but led by Ireland International McBrine (3-12) and Dwayne McGerrigle’s 2-22, the hosts were well short of their revised target of 155.
St Johnston’s chances of hanging on to a top-half finish this season was dealt a real blow when the Donegal men were hammered by Glendermott at the Rectory.
Batting first, the home side posted 208 all out after their innings had twice been reduced due to rain.
Manav Chhabra- missing for the last six weeks due to exams- blasted a 26-ball 58 that included 4 fours and 6 sixes while Jake Montgomery added 30 and Jason Lynch 27.
Michael Rankin picked up 4-38 for the Saints with Graeme McCarter adding 3-33 and David Anthony 2-19, but they weren’t at the races with the bat.
David Macbeth was best with 36 while Ian Macbeth (19) and McCarter (14) were the only others to make it to double figures in a a reply of 104 all out.
Jake Montgomery looks like a real prospect for the Bonds Street side and he added 3-7 to his earlier runs. Chhabra was also on the mark with 3-27, while Charlie Elder showed plenty of his experience, taking 3-30 in a big win for the home team.
And Burndennett came agonisingly close to a first league win of the season before going down by just two runs at Ballyspallen.
Zeeshan Malik made 45, Kyle Morrow 41 and Luke Gilfillan (22) as the Roe Valley team posted 156-7 from 33 overs; a total subsequently revised to 169 by DLS.
Mark and Conan Pollock both collected two wickets apiece, but despite hitting 38 runs in the last two overs of their reply, it wasn’t enough.
Marty Mehaffey’s 43, and 32 from Mark Pollock gave the visitors a solid platform, with Mark Doherty also chipping in with 20, however despite the late effort from Derek Curry (30*- 3 sixes) and Conan Pollock (18*) ‘Spallen held on to win.
Despite no wins as yet, Burndennett’s bonus points total of 29 is joint-highest of the bottom half of the table, alongside Strabane, so they haven’t been coming up too short.
At the other end, Brigade’s 51 bonus points is by some way the best in the league.
Could they yet be the deciding factor?
LONG’S SUPERVALU SENIOR LEAGUE- CURRENT STANDINGS
|TEAM||PLAYED||WON||LOST||NO RESULT||BONUS PTS||TOTAL PTS|