The weekend schedule had started early with a number of games in the region’s domestic T20 competition taking place on Friday night.
There were some real fireworks at The Holm first up as Donemana recorded a huge victory over a Strabane side missing most of their first team regulars.
Andrew Riddles’ team posted a mammoth 227 from their 20 overs with opener Ricky-Lee Dougherty hitting 7 fours and 10 sixes before being run out on 99. William McClintock then came in and blasted 8 sixes and a four to make an 11-ball half century.
To be fair, Strabane have given a lot of fringe players a run out in this competition and Jordan McGonigle (5-14) proved a cut above their batting as the visitors were dismissed for 76.
Brigade beat Glendermott by five wickets in Friday night’s other game while in the Eric Cooke Cup, Ardmore got the better of Burndennett despite Salman Ahmed’s 64 for the visitors.
Creggan teenager Caolan Young was the star of the show for the Bleachgreen side as he picked up his first senior five wicket haul.
There was more T20 fare on Saturday starting in Dublin where the North West Warriors fell to a heavy defeat in their Interprovincial opener against the Northern Knights.
Andy McBrine’s men were shot out for just 78 against the NCU outfit leaving Ian McGregor a frustrated figure on the sidelines. The NW Head Coach hasn’t had his sorrows to seek in recent weeks as he dealt with a plethora of injuries and unavailability.
“I think people in the North West and in Irish cricket generally realise we’re a much better side than this,” he stated.
“Obviously these things happen in T20 cricket but I’m not going to start making excuses. We need to work with the hand we’ve been dealt and I’m expecting a reaction from the players over the next two days.”
In the domestic T20 competition there was something of a rarity at Coleraine where the Bannsiders tied with Strabane in the first of two matches for them.
The visitors posted 76-9 in testing conditions with the Hutchinson brothers - Matthew (4 wickets) and Stephen (3) doing the bulk of the damage.
Coleraine struggled themselves and never quite got to grips in reply, managing to get 2 runs off the final delivery of the innings to match the score.
Ryan Gallagher and Mark McNulty both picked up three wickets for the Red Caps who were winning their first T20 points of the campaign.
Brigade provided the afternoon opposition at Sandel Lodge and Andy Britton’s side were too strong in this one as they recorded a 7-wicket victory.
Dominic Madden top scored with 39 in the Bannsiders 111-8, however 37 from David Barr and an unbeaten 35 from iftikhar Hussain saw the Waterside team secure the points with an over to spare.
Irosh Samarasooriya starred for champions Bready as they secured a 7-wicket win in the first of two matches at Ballyspallen.
The Sri Lankan returned figures of 4-13 as the Roe Valley side made 108-8 in their innings, and then hit an unbeaten 41 as he and Jamie Magee (31) eased Bready over the winning line.
Eglinton then piled on the misery for the hosts as they won the afternoon match by 40 runs.
Mike Erlank (47), Richard Wylie (29), Andy Millar (28) and Lee Ritchie (22) combined to help the Villagers set a target of 163 as Stephen and Stuart Kennedy picked up two wickets each for ’Spallen.
Brendow Louw batted really well to make 60 in the reply, however 4 wickets for Simon Dunn and a couple for Ritchie sealed the deal for Eglinton.
In the Championship, Burndennett’s impressive start continued as they beat Newbuildings by 8 wickets. A late 33 from Chris Cooper helped the visitors to respectability as they were bowled out for 80.
Salman Ahmed was the man who did the damage- the Indian bowling 10 overs straight through to return fugures of 6-22.
The home side lost a couple of early wickets before Andy Barr (32*) and Eddie McGettigan (27*) steadied the ship to earn their side another victory.
Ardmore won the battle of the pre-season promotion favourites as they won at Fox Lodge.
Peter Harrigan and Jason Milligan swapped half centuries as the home side were set 199 to win, however the Foxies just didn’t have the resources in the lower order and came up 20 runs short.
St Johnston added to Bonds Glen’s woes with a maximum points win up at the Glen. There were half centuries here for David Lapsley, Kevin Martin and Nathan Cole for the Saints who racked up 342-7.
Ewald Roberts made 92 not out in the hosts’ reply but they never got close to chasing down the target.