CRICKET: PLAIN SAILING AS TITLE CONTENDERS START WITH WINS

Glendermott professional Azzem Ghuman smashes this shot out to the boundary during Saturday's match against Newbuildings. INLS1816-116KM
Glendermott professional Azzem Ghuman smashes this shot out to the boundary during Saturday's match against Newbuildings. INLS1816-116KM

Glendermott professional Azzem Ghuman smashes this shot out to the boundary during Saturday’s match against Newbuildings. INLS1816-116KM

Rain returned to haunt the start of the new cricket season on Saturday however just one match in the top flight fell to the elements, although two out of the four Championship openers had to be postponed.

Glendermott batsman Bob Robinson pictured in action against Newbuildings on Saturday. INLS1816-117KM

Glendermott batsman Bob Robinson pictured in action against Newbuildings on Saturday. INLS1816-117KM

Bready’s home game with Ardmore was the top flight’s sole victim and that one will now be played next Sunday however elsewhere the “Big 3” took the opportunity to get early points on the board with a series of impressive wins.

Title favourites Brigade entertained newly promoted Drummond and although this one didn’t start until well into the afternoon, the home side proved far too strong in recording a 9-wicket win.

There was a repeat of last year’s senior cup final at Eglinton where the home side took on Donemana but this too was something of a non-event as Ricky-Lee Dougherty’s side lived up to their pre-season billing with a thumping victory.

Coleraine got in on the act as well; their new overseas man Roshen Silva showing that he is going to be a real handful this summer as they beat Strabane. Silva mastered the damp conditions superbly with a match-winning knock and although the Red Caps fought hard, they were never able to chase down the substantial target.

Just two games survived in the Championship with new boys Ballyspallen starting their senior existence with an impressive win at home to Burndennett. Steven McCloskey was the star of the show here as he top scored with 49 and then picked up 4 wickets in the second innings to lead the Roe Valley side over the line.

Glendermott showed that they will be a force to be reckoned with this season as well- Alan Johnson’s men with an impressive 105-run win over Newbuildings to get their campaign up and running.