There has been very little personnel movement between clubs over the winter and it is likely because of that, that the same teams will once again be competing for the major trophies in 2022.
That is sure to be the case at the likes of Donemana, Brigade and Bready - all of whom started with wins of varying degrees at the weekend.
Donemana began with an impressive performance - William McBrine in excellent form for the Holm side as his 6-46 helped them to an eight wicket victory over Eglinton.
McBrine doesn’t always get the credit he deserves at this level, partly of course because his elder brother Andy is a 100-cap Irish International and skipper of the North West Warriors.
William however has plenty of experience at this level, indeed along with William and Gary McClintock he owned FIVE North West senior cup winning medals by the time he was 19.
On Saturday, the Villagers could only muster 94 all out as they batted first with Tommy Orr making 41 of those (7 fours). Gary Neely claimed 2-16 to help tidy up, but the visitors were hardly at the races if truth be told.
Kyle Dougherty hit 5 sixes and 4 fours in his 27-ball 53, with Joe Robinson adding 21 as Donemana cruised to an 8-wicket win in 10 overs.
Ballyspallen caused something of a surprise as they left Newbuildings with a 48-run success.
Steven McCloskey made an unbeaten 54 while Jacob Logan-Wilson added 24 and James Thompson 23 in the visitors total of 150 all out.
Johnny Thompson (5-39) starred with the ball for Newbuildings with Peter Allen and Jordan McCorkell picking up two wickets each, but it was to prove too big an ask for the Foyle View side.
Despite ‘JT’ making 35 and Jared Wilson adding 25, Damith Perera (4-14), Stuart Kennedy (2-28) and Josh Wilson (2-29) saw the hosts bowled out for just 102 in reply.
And just up the road in Burndennett, the home side got the better of Killyclooney in an entertaining and high scoring affair.
Kenzie Hall and Alan Colhoun both made 47 in the visitors’ total of 209- skipper Timmy Dougherty weighing in with 37 as well, while Mark Snodgrass showed he has retained plenty of his form returning figures of 4-30.
Aaron McDermott and Conan Pollock claimed two wickets apiece and ’Dennett then gave themselves a great start in reply as Marty Mehaffey (42), Mark Doherty (40) and Eddie McGettigan (33) were all among the runs.
Andrew Neill (4-25) kept ’Clooney well in the game before Andy Barr’s quick-fire 29 got Burndennett home with three wickets to spare.
Strabane posted an impressive win over Bonds Glen at the Park - David Cooke’s 70 not out and 38 from Simon Killen helping the Bee Gees to a very respectable 182-6 in their 40 overs.
Tom Harper (3-32) and Ehtesham Ahmed (2-28) helped keep things in check and ‘Shami’ was in great form with the bat as well as he scored 77 (6 fours and 3 sixes) in the reply.
Shami and Kevin Gallagher (65) looked as if they were going to chase down the target without losing a wicket, but their 163-run opening stand did ensure a comfortable eight wicket verdict for the Red Caps.
Marco Marais made an unbeaten 61 as Fox Lodge saw off Ardmore by five wickets at Ballymagorry.
Marais along with Travis Nicholl (47) did the bulk of the damage as the Foxies made light of a target of 146- Nicholl hitting 6 sixes and 2 fours in only 16 balls- sharing in a 55-run opening stand with Jason Milligan who made just four of those.
Earlier, Dave Bezzant had made 49 and Conor King 34 while Aaron Heywood (3-26), Levi Kerr (3-35) and Marais (2-16) managed to keep the Bleachgreen side at arm’s length.
Brigade won the Waterside derby by four wickets in a real nail-biter at Beechgrove.
Alan Johnson scored an unbeaten 78 (3 fours, 2 sixes) while there were cameos from Nathan McGuire (14), Scott Laird (14) and Dylan Lynch (15) in Glendermott’s total of 159-7.
Andy Britton (4-16) was the pick of the home bowlers and the skipper was also instrumental in getting his side over the winning line with just 3 balls to spare.
David Barr hit 69 at the top of Brigade’s reply and Graeme McCarter chipped in with 23 before Britton’s 22 not out closed the deal. Alex Boyd (2-20) and Curtis Ross (2-31) kept Glendermott in the hunt right to the end.
And in the day’s final game an under-strength St Johnston lost by 81 runs to Bready at the Boathole.
Davy Scanlon’s men posted 196-9 from their 40 overs courtesy of 66 from Irosh Samarasooriya and a few late runs from Ian Young (33*) as well as 23 from former Saint Scott Macbeth.
The hosts were missing their share of the Macbeths due to a wedding but Dawie Barnard (3-39), Nathan Cole (2-29) and Michael Rankin (2-31) were all on target to keep the visitors from getting too far away.
It was in the batting department that the Donegal side struggled however with another former player, Khyat Bhavsar, claiming 4-25 as the reply was contained to 115. Jacob Marowske, co-incidentally a former Bready player, top scored with 18 while Gavin Roulston (3-10) helped ensure a comfortable away win.