The Bank of Ireland North West senior cup trophy is back at Beechgrove for another 12 months after the holders recorded a huge 226-run victory over Glendermott in this weekend’s final at Eglinton.
It was a commanding performance from the league leaders who are on the verge of completing the “double” having now gone 15 matches unbeaten in domestic cricket.
Skipper Andy Britton led from the front this weekend; the North West Warriors bowler picking up his second consecutive man-of-the match award for an all-round performance over the two days.
Britton showed a ruthless streak to refuse to enforce the follow-on after Brigade secured a 166-run lead after the first innings. Instead he chose to ram home his side’s advantage and although he declared with 8 second innings overs left unused, the champions-elect had by then set Gordon Montgomery’s team a nearly-impossible target of 443 to win the cup.
Britton’s century partnership with Johnny Thompson on Friday afternoon had put Brigade in charge of the final and the same two players were among the runs again as they made an additional 276-8 second time around.
Britton made 42 not out and Thompson 41 following knocks of 46 from Kyle Magee and 44 from Iftikhar Hussain as the Beechgrove team’s batting fired. Steve Moore claimed the honours with the ball for Glendermott with an impressive 5-64, but the Rectory side’s pursuit of that mammoth victory target was a real head-scratcher.
Almost from the outset it appeared that the Glens were content just to bat out their overs. Alan Johnson again fared well in the middle order as he made 37 before the reply pretty much ground to a halt after that.
Britton responded by giving everyone a bowl, including wicket-keeper Gateth McKeegan as the last couple of hours became quite bizarre. Gordon Cooke in turn took advantage of that as he finished unbeaten on 74 and Ryan Barr added 31 not out, however none of that ever threatened to have any impact on the outcome.
It all meant a comprehensive victory for Brigade and leaves them looking forward to more silverware in the final few weeks of the season.