Brigade wrap up top spot as spectators return to North West cricket

Brigade completed a clean sweep of their White Horse Hotel T20 Cup group games on Sunday afternoon, with a comfortable 31-run win over Strabane, at sun soaked Beechgrove.

Sunday, 30th May 2021, 7:12 pm

Andy Britton’s side have now completed their six-match programme against the Red Caps and Killyclooney with three fairly emphatic wins against each.

The home side batted first here with Ross Allen top scoring with 37 not in their 126-5. Kyle Magee made 25 and Iftikhar Hussain 24 while there were two wickets apiece for Tanzir Hassan and Rhys Logue.

Strabane’s reply never really got going with Allen once again the thorn in their side as he claimed 3 wickets for 2 runs in his three overs.

Ryan Macbeth chipped in with 2-6 and Hussain 2-14 as the visitors slumped to 55-9 before a last wicket partnership of 40 between Mark McNulty (29*) and Chris Havern (10*) added some respectability.

The overs ran out with the score on 95-9 so it is Brigade who qualify for the Faughan Valley Cup semi-finals with second place in the group to be decided between Strabane and Killyclooney next weekend.

It was the first weekend in two seasons that spectators were permitted to attend games and the cricket public certainly enjoyed their new-found freedom.

On the field on Saturday, the Beechgrove men, who had already wrapped up top spot in their section even before beating Killyclooney for the third time this season as the infrequent visitors to the Tyrone venture posted a dominant nine wicket win.

Derek Lynch hit 4 sixes and 4 fours in his 51 as ’Clooney batted first with Darren Moan chipping in with 26.

Iftikhar Hussain claimed 3-7 and Ross Allen 3-12 as Moan’s men struggled to cope with the quality of the Beechgrove bowlers - the normally free-scoring hosts restricted to 115-8 from their 20 overs.

Kyle Magee, who came up through the youth structure at Killyclooney, hit 7 fours and 6 sixes as he shared in a century opening stand with David Barr (42 not out) in Brigade’s reply.

The group leaders needed little more than half the available overs to seal a comprehensive victory.

A half century from Dean Mehaffey (above) added to 47 from William McClintock and a quick 32 not out from Levi Dougherty saw Donemana recover from a shaky start to beat St Johnston.

This was the Saints’ first game of the season after they were given the nod by Foyle College to use the new grounds on the Limavady Road on a temporary basis.

Michael Rankin hit 5 fours and 2 sixes on his way to 59 and Jack Macbeth made 27 in a very respectable 139-7 from the Donegal team.

Dwayne McGerrigle’s three wickets helped keep the score down before Donemana slumped to 15-2 at the start of their reply. Mehaffey and McClintock, who was out to a snorter of a one-handed jumping catch by Scott Macbeth, turned it around however, while Dougherty’s rapid 32 that included 3 sixes and fours eased the Holm side over the line.

Bready are on course for top spot in their group as they too had 9 wickets to spare over Glendermott at Magheramason. North West Warriors batsman Nathan McGuire top scored with 34 for the Rectory boys as they made 106-8 while Kat Bhavsar was best with the ball for the home side with 3-17.

David Rankin (52*) and Andy Austin (19) gave Bready the perfect platform in their chase, while Irosh Samarasooriya added an unbeaten 29 that saw their side claim maximum bonus points to pull clear at the top of the table.

Coleraine avenged their opening day defeat at Bonds Glen to become the third team of the day to win by 9 wickets. Stephen Hutchinson claimed outstanding figures of 4-4 and Alan Whitcroft added 3-9 as the Bee Gees were dismissed for 66. That total was boosted by a last wicket partnership of 27 after a pretty dismal start, but it was still to be nowhere near enough.

Scott Campbell made 38 not out and shared in a 64-run opening stand with Paddy Carson (16) as the Bannsiders showed something like their real form to win easily.

Ardmore’s overseas man Tyron Koen hit 5 sixes and an four as he made 56 in the first game of the season at the Bleachgreen.

The South African looked in good touch although the home side didn’t take full advantage as they were bowled out for 117.

Jacob Logan-Wilson returned superb figures of 5-12 while there two wickets apiece for Josh Wilson and Stephen Kennedy as ‘Spallen’s young side showed some form in the field.

The Roe Valley side were soon in trouble themselves however before a sixth wicket stand between Damith Perera (45*) and James Thompson (21) brought them back into it.

They just couldn’t keep pace with the required rate however and two wickets apiece for Rachit Gaur and Conor Brolly was enough to secure a cosy win for Ardmore.

Newbuildings kept their winning run going as they edged past Burndennett in a game that went down to the last over.

Marty Mehaffey (34) and Mark Doherty (26) shared a 41-run stand that helped the home side to what looked to be a modest 106-8 in their 20 overs.

Ryan Hunter with an unbeaten 40 and Mark Hanna with 30 put Newbuildings in control in their reply, however a couple of wickets each for Conan Pollock and Gary Neely kept the hosts in with a shout right until the end.

Fox Lodge caused the only upset of the day as they accounted for a very out of sorts Eglinton at Ballymagorry. TJ Nicholl made 26 and Jonny Robinson 20 in a seemingly modest total of 107-5.

The Villagers really struggled in reply however and could muster just 64-9 in their 20 overs. Craig Averill top scored with 22 while Aaron Heywood, Adam Walker and Jamie McIntyre helped themselves to two wickets apiece as the Foxies claimed full points.