Only Brigade confirmed for semi-finals
Ian Callender (Belfast Telegraph)
BRIGADE completed Group A of the NW T20 with a full house of six wins, after beating Strabane by 31 runs at Beechgrove.
Their total of 126 for five was their lowest batting first this season but was always too many for the Red Caps who were 32 for six at halfway.
On Saturday, it was Kyle Magee who eased Brigade to a nine wickets victory, scoring 74 in an opening stand of 101 with David Barr, in reply to Killyclooney’s 115 for eight. Magee hit seven fours and six sixes on what was only Brigade’s second ever game at Killyclooney.
In Group Four, Donemana need to get just one more point than Ardmore in their games next Saturday, away to Ballyspallen and St Johnston respectively, to win the group ahead of their last day showdown next Sunday at The Holm.
Donemana maintained their 25 points gap at the top with a seven wickets win over St Johnston, chasing 140, as Ardmore defended 117 against Ballyspallen with 25 runs to spare.
Dean Mehaffey (50 not out), the man of the match in last year’s Senior Cup final, and captain William McClintock (47) added 83 for the third wicket to break the back of Donemana’s successful pursuit and Levi Dougherty (32 not out with three sixes and two fours) then hurried the holders to victory with nine balls to spare.
At the fourth time of asking, after Covid restrictions and unplayable grounds, St Johnston finally got on the field – the game was played at Foyle College – but Michael Rankin, a former Foyle pupil, was immediately into his stride with 55 in the Saints’ impressive start.
Ardmore were able to play a home match for the first time this season, at their third attempt, and new South African professional Tryon Koen scored almost half his side’s runs, 56 off 42 balls. He was dismissed by Jacob Logan-Wilson who had the day’s best bowling figures of five for 12, but when Ballyspallen crashed to 22 for five in reply, there was no way back, although their Sri Lankan professional, Damith Perera finished 45 not out.
oleraine are still in third place in Group C but they have the winning of the group in their own hands as their remaining games next weekend are away to the teams above them, Eglinton and Fox Lodge.
They eased past Bonds Glen by nine wickets on Saturday, captain Stephen Hutchinson taking four wickets for four runs as the visitors were bowled out for 66 and Scott Campbell, with 38 not out, saw the Bannsiders home with exactly 10 overs to spare.
Eglinton missed the chance to all but secure first place when they could only total 64 for nine in their 20 overs, in reply to Fox Lodge’s 107 for five. Only three batsmen reached 20 and no bowler took more than two wickets in a game which will not linger in the memory.
Newbuildings can seal top spot in Group B, and a place in the Faughan Valley Cup semi-finals, with victory at home to Bready on Saturday. Both teams won their third match out of four on Saturday, batting second against teams who both made 106 for eight!
Newbuildings beat Burndennett by five wickets at the start of the last over and Bready completed a nine wickets victory over Glendermott, David Rankin finishing 52 not out.