BRIGADE and Newbuildings must return to Beechgrove next Saturday to replay their North West Senior Cup semi-final after rain won the day.

Batting first yesterday, Newbuildings were bowled out for 162 in the last of their 40 overs – the game reduced by a delayed start - but Brigade never got a chance to bat as the rain returned in the heaviest spell of the day.
Brigade’s leading wicket-taker was their sixth bowler Davy Barr, who finished with four for 28, a week after he had figures of six for 36 in the quarter-final against Ardmore.

He obviously is no longer Brigade’s secret weapon and form a deadly three-prong spin attack with veteran Ifti Hussain and young North West Warrior Ross Allen.

Between them they took six for 56 yesterday in their 24 overs and captain Andy Britton will rely on them again today when they take the field in the All-Ireland T20 decider at Rathmines against surprise finalists Cork Harlequins.

Barr is relishing his new role but insists there are no favourites in a cup final.

“A cup final is a different story for everyone,” he says. “I have played in plenty of finals to know that but this is my first All-Ireland final so it would be nice to bring it home

“But Cork must be a decent side to have beaten Merrion in their semi-final and we’ll have to be at our best to win tomorrow.”

Fortunately, Brigade have hit somewhere near their best form in recent weeks, highlighted by their semi-final win over Carrickfergus last Sunday and Barr is hoping that can continue today.

“We had a bad start to the season (winning only three of their seven matches), when the batting didn’t click and the bowlers couldn’t get us out of difficult situations. But it was just a case of the boys having to take more responsibility and since the Cups started we’ve definitely done that and have been the team to beat.

“I know my role and when I get through the first 10 overs – the first couple in a T20 – I feel solid. I’m just happy that Andy (Britton, the Brigade captain) trusts me to open in T20 cricket and show everybody what I can do.”

Barr is in his sixth season with Brigade, after starting his career at Bready and accepts he is one of the senior players in the team.

“We’ve a lot of talent, probably none more than Kyle Magee, Andy is the man for the big occasion and fortunately everyone is starting to perform at the right time. I know I have to step up but I relish the responsibility and am really enjoying my cricket here.”
ready, meanwhile, will receive the Premiership trophy after their Senior Cup semi-final against Eglinton today (11am).

They went through the new-look 11-match league undefeated, which was due to end yesterday but they didn’t need to play their final game because Donemana, the only team who could overtake them with three matches left to play, scratched from the fixture on Friday, the day that former captain Ricky-Lee Dougherty was married.