Thompson, O’Brien & Gillespie pile on the runs for Warriors of Day 1
It was a day of almost complete domination from Ian McGregor’s charges who having been put in to bat, struggled for an hour against the new ball before filling their boots in the next two-and-a-half sessions.
Much of the talk in the run-up to the match had been the inclusion of William Porterfield and Boyd Rankin in the North West side. The Ireland skipper, however, was one of two wickets for the home side in the opening exchanges- Porterfield not offering a shot to a ball from Tyrone Kane that nipped back and clipped his off stump.
David Barr made 16 before he fell to Peter Chase and then Aaron Gillespie did his reputation no harm at all with a quality half-century. The Strabane all-rounder batted superbly in the circumstances and had much of the hard work done when he cut one to Kevin O’Brien at point and was gone for 57.
That was 95-3 and game on again but what followed was a batting masterclass from Thompson and O’Brien.
These two built their stand patiently at first but gradually upped the ante and by the start of the final session were climbing into anything remotely loose from the bowling unit.
The final tally was 358-3 with Thompson unbeaten on a superb 136 (18 fours and 1 six) and O’Brien equally impressive in making 129* (13 fours, 1 six).
Head Coach McGregor is well aware that the reigning champions will be keen to bounce back straight away when action resumes on Wednesday morning but was equally adamant that his side would be ready for that.
“It’s just the first day of the first game in a long summer, but it is exactly the start we were after. I thought we were exceptional today and while Thommo and Nobby will deservedly get all the plaudits, I thought Aaron was excellent too.”
“We have to be careful tomorrow not to let our standards slip, but this group has worked hard over the winter, and this performance hasn’t happened by accident.”
“We have ten guys born and bred in the North West on our side today, and the other two might as well be, as they have bought into this from the start.”
“Today has taken the Warriors to a new level of performance, and while we can certainly enjoy it we have to do everything we can to make sure we maintain those standards”.
Action gets underway at Sydney Parade again at 11 am on Wednesday and Thursday.
You can follow all of the action via our app
Cricket LiveScore EU
D Barr c Tucker b Chase 16
W Porterfield b Kane 2
A Gillespie c K O’Brien b Chase 57
N O’Brien not out 129
S THompson not out 136
Extras 18 Total (3 wkts, 104 overs) 358
Fall: 1-7 2-26 3-93
T Kane 22-5-69-1;
P Chase 21-3-101-2;
K O’Brien 15-3-38-0;
G Dockrell 21-2-77-0;
S Singh 24-7-60-0;
J Anderson 1-0-3-0