Bready claim Eric Cooke Cup as title race goes down to the wire

Bready have won the 2022 Eric Cooke Cup after an 85-run victory over Burndennett at St Johnston on Sunday afternoon.

Bready celebrate winning the Eric Cooke Cup after defeating Burndennett. Picture by Lawrence Moore
Bready celebrate winning the Eric Cooke Cup after defeating Burndennett. Picture by Lawrence Moore

The Premiership side took advantage of being put in to bat - Ian Young with a man-of-the-match winning 75 not out in their total of 231-6. The same player had anchored the Magheramason side’s innings at home to Eglinton on Saturday as well - but this was a blistering assault on the ’Dennett bowlers.

Young hit 7 sixes and six fours in his 28-ball innings; sharing in an 83-run stand with Gavin Roulston who made 34 before being dismissed by his dad!

Irosh Samarasooriya hit 4 fours and 4 sixes on his way to 54 before Young and skipper David Scanlon (30) took the game away from the Championship side with a 103-run partnership from just 50 balls.

Bready's Gregory McFaul celebrates taking five wickets in Sunday's Eric Cooke Cup final win over Burndennett. Picture by Lawrence Moore

Mark Snodgrass claimed figures of 3-55 and Mark Pollock 2-36 as Burndennett tried in vain to limit the damage.

Marcello Piedt made 42 in the reply (5 fours, 2 sixes) with Aida Logue chipping in with 39 and Pollock 27 before Gregory McFaul (5-25) ripped through the order.

The final total was 146 - skipper Scanlon tidying up with 2-13 as Bready collected the trophy.

There was a dramatic finish to the day’s re-arranged Premier League game where Brigade beat Donemana by 1 run in a 35-over a side contest.

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David Barr hit 3 fours and 3 sixes in his 55 with Jamie Millar (23*) and Adam McDaid (22) next best in the home side’s total of 175-8.

Jordan McGonigle (3-29) rarely leaves Beechgrove without a wicket or two and Gary McClintock picked up 2-26 but the visitors were to come up fractionally short.

Joe Robinson’s 60 seemed to have set Donemana on their way and despite 36 from Gary McClintock and 30 from Levi Dougherty, they closed on 174 all out in reply.

Ryan Barr (3-21) and Ryan Macbeth (3-37) helped Brigade close out an entertaining win.

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There was to be no joy for the two North West teams competing in the All-Ireland semi-finals also on Sunday - Newbuildings losing by 111 runs at CIYMS and Fox Lodge losing by eight wickets at home to CSNI.

While Bready were unable to wrap up the Premiership title race at home to Eglinton on Saturday meaning the door has been left open for Newbuildings to nick it when they play Ardmore in their final league game.

The current holders knew that if they matched the beaten cup finalists’ points tally on Saturday, they would have retained their title, however a patched-up village side gave the Magheramason men all they wanted.

Eglinton travelled without half of their usual first team, but an excellent 56 at the top of the order from skipper Andy Millar got them off to a good start as they batted first.

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More was to come from Tommy Orr - the Warriors’ keeper/batsman in scintillating form as he hit 11 fours in his unbeaten 130.

Robbie Millar (22) and Mike Erlank (17*) also chipped in as Eglinton, with two of the club’s women’s players making their senior debut alongside two third XI players, racked up a daunting total of 247-2 from their 40 overs.

The Villagers inexperience did show in the field but they still pushed their hosts every inch of the way before succumbing to the very last ball of the innings, and with the last pair at the wicket.

Ian Young’s unbeaten 62 was the defining effort with the bat- that final delivery drilled to the boundary with two runs needed to win.

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Gavin Roulston (43), James McKillop (34), Robert Spence (31) and Jamie Magee (25) all played their part as well and although Bready fell over the winning line to keep the title race alive - you could sense that skipper Scanlon knew they had blown a golden opportunity.

Newbuildings did what they had to, although they too made a bit of heavy weather of getting past their cup final conquerors last week Fox Lodge, but in the end winning by 63 runs.

In the only other game played on Saturday, Ardmore won by two runs defeating Coleraine, at Sandel Lodge.

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