Brigade crowned North West Senior Cup champions as Glendermott claim Sammy Jeffrey Shield win
Brigade have won the North West Senior Cup for the third time in four years after a comfortable six wicket success over Eglinton in a game forced into a third day by the weekend’s heavy rain.
The sides were fairly well matched over the course of the first innings, however the Beechgrove side’s 48-run lead proved to be crucial as the villagers fell on their own sword in the second innings when they tried to force the pace. The home side finished a weather-shortened Day 2 with a lead of 18 runs but three wickets down, and it was imperative that they built on that early on Sunday if they were to stay in the game.
It wasn’t to be, however, as overnight batsman Tommy Orr was out for 40 at the start of play and the home side never recovered. Ryan Macbeth and Iftikhar Hussain cut through the rest of the order, Macbeth returning 'Man of the Match' winning figures of 4-35 and Hussain bowling superbly to claim 3-16 from his 10 overs. In total, the villagers second innings closed on 124 all out meaning a target of just 78 left for Brigade to claim the trophy.
The home side battled hard once again however they never had enough runs to defend. Hussain made an unbeaten 32 to ensure victory despite losing four wickets en route, as Andy Britton once again got his hands on the famous old trophy.
The Beechgrove side did well to add 92 runs to their overnight 126 for 4 at the start of Day 2 after Simon Dunn (3-23) removed dangerous hitters Andy Britton (19) and David Murdock (6), and when Jamie Millar trapped former team mate Ross Allen for 39, Brigade’s lead had been just 24. Ryan Barr (29*) and Ryan Macbeth plundered 24 runs from the last two overs however to seize the initiative for their side.
Macbeth then removed Jamie Millar and Scott Adair cheaply, while Nick Donnell bowled first innings top scorer Craig Averill for 0, to further tighten their grip on proceedings before a torrential downpour saw play abandoned in mid-afternoon.
While events at Eglinton may have been low-key, they were anything but at Strabane Park where the Sammy Jeffrey Shield final went down to the very last ball after a titanic 200-over battle between Strabane and Glendermott.
The visitors had taken a 26-run lead into the second innings on Sunday morning, but Strabane turned the game on its head at the start of Day 2 with some quality batting. Aaron Gillespie and Kevin Gallagher (25) put on 41 for the first wicket before Gillespie and Rhys Logue then added a superb 119 for the second to wipe out the deficit. The Strabane skipper was run out for 68 (7 fours, 1 six) with the score on 160 and that started a bit of a collapse in the home ranks.
Logue followed soon after for 55 (3 fours, 1 six) and although Ryan Gallagher chipped in with 29, the rest of the order fell away. The Red Caps lost eight wickets for 53 runs to close on 213-9 with Reece Laird (4-42), and Nauman Anwar (2-35) doing the bulk of the damage.
And where the Bond's Street side would have been expecting to be chasing 240-plus at one point, skipper Alan Johnson was more than happy with a target of 188 for victory. Anwar, of course, was key, the Pakistani having scored close to 400 runs by that point in this competition alone. However the hosts were cock-a-hoop when Tom Harpur had him caught behind from the very first ball he faced.
Strabane were huge favourites from there but no-one had told Bob Robinson and Todd Killen who set about posting a patient, but ultimately match-winning century stand for the second wicket. That pair spent 32 overs together, Killen making 54 from 112 deliveries and Robinson 52 from 107 before Reece Laird added 27 and Steve Moore 21.
Strabane kept taking wickets at key times however, Harpur faring best with 3-35, and Glendermott still needed 12 from the last two overs to win. Chris Havern was left to defend just five from the last and he very nearly did it too. Tylor Moore and Curtis Ross managed to scramble a single from the final delivery however to send the huge travelling support wild with delight.
It was a superb spectacle of a final, played in excellent spirit between two very well matched teams; something that winning skipper Alan Johnson alluded to in his victory speech.
And finally in women's cricket, Bready made it through to the final of the All-Ireland T20 before losing out in the decider to Dublin side, Pembroke. The Magheramason club actually hosted finals day and took on CSNI in the semi-final of the senior competition on Saturday morning.
The visitors won the toss at a very wet and overcast Magheramason and decided to have a bowl. Bready captain Alana Dalzell and Kayleigh Barnard got the hosts off to a solid start, posting 23 before Kayleigh was dismissed in the fourth over. Dalzell led from the front as she has done all season, finishing the game on 47 not out. Kathryn Rough played a really important cameo at the end, posting a 30-run partnership with Dalzell to leave Bready with a total of 105. Pick of the bowlers for CSNI Jemma was Gillan with figures of 2-16 from her four overs.
With rain affecting play, CSNI were then set a target of 75 off 12 overs to progress to the afternoon final. Jemma Rankin struck in the first over with the big wicket of CSNI captain, Rachael Thomas, courtesy of an excellent catch in the outfield by Amy Campbell.
Ali Cowan top scored for the Belfast side with 18 while Alana Dalzell backed up her batting with a great bowling display for her side with 2-8. It's also worth noting a superb performance in the field by Kayleigh Barnard who was involved in three run-outs.
CSNI needed 13 off the last over and up stepped young Mansi Bhavsar. The 11-year old bowled a great over, taking two wickets and conceding just one run to ensure an excellent win for the North West side. The result sends Bready through to the All-Ireland final where they will face Pembroke, a great achievement for the club and highlighting how women's cricket in the region is progressing.
With the rain playing a part again the final was reduced to a 10-over match. Pembroke captain, Mary Waldron, winning the toss and having a bowl in tough conditions. Dalzell again got her team off to a good start with 15 before she was stumped off the bowling of Cliona Tucker, Pembroke on top with the big wicket off the Bready skipper. Cameos from Jemma Rankin and Kathryn Rough again saw Bready reach 50 off their 10 overs, Tucker finishing with figures of 2-11.
Pembroke got off to an excellent start with an opening partnership of 32 before an excellent bit of work from Amy Campbell to dismiss Louise Little. The experience of Waldron however saw her see her team home as the Ireland player finished on 23 not out to ensure Pembroke ran out well deserving winners