The two groups in this season’s Long’s SuperValu 40-over league were completed on Saturday afternoon and the eight sides who will compete for this year’s Premier League title have now been decided. There was an unfortunate end to Burndennett’s push to qualify from Group B- the Tyrone side had reached 163-3 in the 29th over of their winner-take-all match at home to Coleraine when Eddie McGettigan, who had just scored 76, took ill and had to be taken to hospital. Burndennett opted to forfeit the game although thankfully Eddie is now on the way to a full recovery, which is great news.
In Group A, Fox Lodge beat Brigade by 16 runs at Beechgrove to ensure that they would make the cut, but Bonds Glen’s 8-wicket defeat at Bready meant that Andy Britton’s team would also qualify. A century stand between Brian Allen (79; 7 fours and 4 sixes) and Jonny Robinson (57) helped the Ballymagorry outfit to a total of 202-7 and Brigade were always behind in the chase.
Simon Olphert, batting at number 11, top scored with 36 while Adam McDaid made 33 and Ryan Macbeth 26 not out in a reply of 186 all out. Three wickets each for Gareth Heywood and Adam Walker and a couple for Jason Milligan were enough to seal a good win for the visitors.
Newbuildings and Donemana had both already qualified from Group B, but there was bragging rights to be had ahead of their upcoming senior cup quarter final as the two sides met at Foyle View Arena. Kyle Dougherty made 60 and Dean Mehaffey 56 as the visitors set a target of 217- three wickets each for Johnny Thompson and Trent McKeegan for Newbuildings keeping things in check.
Former Donemana pair Thompson and Ryan Hunter then set about giving the home side a real boost as they cruised to the win. Hunter and Gareth McKeegan (43) put on 90 for the first wicket with the opener and Thompson then doing the rest- Hunter with 15 fours and 2 sixes in his unbeaten 94- just a big hit short of a deserved century- while ‘JT’ was 48 not out when the winning run was scored.
It is likely to be a lot different when they meet at the same venue in the cup, but this was some marker put down by McKeegan’s men.
Ardmore’s impressive form is still going- Dhram Singh making 74, Tyrone Koen 57*, Rachit Gaur 37 and Mark Chambers 34* as the Bleachgreen side easily hunted down Glendermott’s 222-7.
Tylor Moor doesn’t like hanging about- his 56 for the Rectory outfit including 5 fours and 5 sixes- while Alan Johnson (37) and Nauman Anwar (31) were also among the runs. Dave Bezzant claimed 4-30 as the home side kept the target manageable with Koen and Sean Gormley picking up a couple of wickets each.
Bonds Glen’s chances of making the top fizzled out despite a superb century for Raymond Curry. The Warriors man cracked 11 fours and 3 sixes in his 105 at Magheramason as the Bee Gees made 189- Rehan Afridi chipping in with 36 while Gregory McFaul helped himself to 4 wickets for the hosts.
Bready rarely looked in trouble in reply with David Rankin unbeaten on 78 and Irosh Samarasooriya (77) steering them to an 8-wicket verdict, cementing their place at the top of the Group.
Ballyspallen’s recent improvement continued as well as they won by 6 wickets at Killyclooney. An opening stand of 84 between Darren Moan (52) and William Finlay (41) seemed to set ‘Clooney well on their way before three wickets apiece for Stephen Kennedy and James Thompson helped pull things back.
Chasing 202 to win, Kennedy once again led from the front as his 72 along with 35 from Damith Perera and 34 not out from Curtis McElwee saw the Roe Valley men reach the winning line with plenty in hand.
The final game of the day saw St Johnston beat Strabane at the Park. Jack Macbeth hit a half century for the visitors with Michael Rankin adding 38 and David Macbeth 27 in their total of 195. Tom Harpur claimed 4 wickets for the Red Caps and Rhys Logue 3, but despite a half century from Aaron Gillespie and 45 from Tanvir Hassan, Strabane’s lower order was undone by the craft of Ian Macbeth whose 4 wickets turned the game the Saints’ way.
Long’s SuperValu League results
At Killyclooney, Killyclooney lost to Ballyspallen by 6 wickets
Killyclooney 201 all out (37.2 overs; D Moan 52, W Finlay 41, A Colhoun 23, J Nelson 21*, S Kennedy 3-15, J Thompson 3-20, M O’Brien 2-30)
Ballyspallen 202-4 (27.5 overs; S Kennedy 72, D Perera 35, C McElwee 34*, A Neil 2-36)
At Burndennett, Burndennett v Coleraine
Burndennett 163-3 (28.5 overs; E McGettigan 76, M Pollock 41*, M Mehaffey 30)
Match abandoned due to medical emergency
At Magheramason, Bready beat Bonds Glen by 8 wickets
Bonds Glen 189 all out (36.4 overs; R Curry 105, R Afridi 36, G McFaul 4-41)
Bready 190-2 (23.2 overs; D Rankin 78*, I Samarasooriya 77)
At Strabane Park, Strabane lost to St Johnston by 43 runs
St Johnston 195 all out (40 overs; J Macbeth 50, M Rankin 38, D Macbeth 27, D Lapsley 22, T Harpur 4-37, R Logue 3-29, K Purewal-Singh 2-46)
Strabane 152 all out (37.2 overs; A Gillespie 58, T Hassan 45, I Macbeth 4-35, M Rankin 2-26)
At Beechgrove, Brigade lost to Fox Lodge by 16 runs
Fox Lodge 202-7 (40 overs; B Allen 79, J Robinson 57, R Allen 2-23, R Macbeth 2-36)
Brigade 186 all out (38 overs; S Olphert 36, A McDaid 33, R Macbeth 26*, G Heywood 3-14, A Walker 3-28, J Milligan 2-32)
At the Bleachgreen, Ardmore beat Glendermott by 8 wickets
Glendermott 222 all out (37.1 overs; T Moore 56, A Johnson 37, N Anwar 31, D Bezzant 4-30, T Koen 2-19, S Gormley 2-33)
Ardmore 226-2 (33.3 overs; D Singh 74, T Koen 57*, R Gaur 37, M Chambers 34*, JJ O’Brien 2-47)
At Foyle View, Newbuildings beat Donemana by 7 wickets
Donemana 217-9 (40 overs; K Dougherty 60, D Mehaffey 56, G McClintock 23, L Dougherty 22, W McBrine 21*, J Thompson 3-19, T McKeegan 3-64, B Mills 2-47)
Newbuildings 218-3 (33 overs; R Hunter 94*, J Thompson 48*, G McKeegan 43)