THE ELEMENTS had the upper hand again this weekend as all but one match survived Saturday’s rain although the region’s cricketers fared a little better on Sunday with play in both the Northern Bank and Ulster Cup competitions.
Unusually for cricket here, the most telling games of the week were played out on Thursday and Friday nights; the league match between two of the four co-leaders, Bready and Strabane ending as a “no result” on Thursday while Donemana moved clear at the top 24 hours later when they thumped Brigade in a T20 replay at Beechgrove.
The Bready v Strabane contest ran out of time causing real frustration for the home team who were on top throughout but no doubt they felt they had been stopped in their tracks on the first evening’s play with a controversial early abandonment.
The teams get another chance with a T20 replay sometime next week, but Donemana didn’t need to be asked twice to take advantage as they defeated Brigade in stunning fashion to take the lead in the title race.
Johnny Thompson was again the man in form with the bat for the Beechgrove outfit, his 64 not out by far the highlight of their 114 for 7 but Kamran Sajid, Ryan Hunter and Ricky-Lee Dougherty were all that was required for the visitors as they simply strolled to the win.
That defeat all but ended Brigade’s defence of their title but things were much better for Mark Simpson’s side on Sunday when they booked their place in the ClubTurf Ulster Cup final with a win at home to a strongly fancied North Down side.
But Donemana were unable to make it an all-North West decider when they lost out to CIYMS at Stormont, Richard Kee’s side feeling very aggrieved that they were on the wrong side of many decisions in that one.
Eglinton also kept the flag flying in the Ulster Shield, Karl O’Doherty’s men seeing off Cliftonville to book their place in the decider there.
Full round up and scorecards in the Journal every Tuesday