BREADY CONTINUE TO IMPRESS

It was another excellent weekend for Bready who recorded back-to-back wins against The Nedd in the cup, followed by a 50-run home win against St Johnston.

The Magheramason side are the only unbeaten team in the league and have given themselves a real chance of emulating their 2018 Premiership success. Skipper David Scanlon was pleased with his side’s efforts as they continued their rich vein of form.

“it was two very good wins,” Scanlon told the Chronicle. “We all really enjoyed our excellent first experience of playing in The Nedd and they hosted us impeccably. They were the best hosts we’ve had in ages! Their team put up a good fight as well, and we were happy to get in the hat for the next round.

“We were pleased with the draw as we are at home, but we believe Ballyspallen will be a tough test so we won't take them lightly.

“Sunday’s game against the Saints was a tough one, as a double-header in serious heat and tough competition. They have some very good young players in their side with some wily older guys as well, so it was great to get over the line. I think we aren't hitting 100% at the minute, so we will look forward to putting that right from Saturday onwards.”

Bready take on Bonds Glen in that game with the Bee Gees needing a win to make the Premiership cut-off.

CONAN THE BARBARIAN

Burndennett may have exited the cup on Saturday despite a battling effort against Eglinton after making 238. Hampered by the absence of spearhead Gary Neely, the villagers won by six wickets with Tommy Orr making a century.

They bounced back in emphatic style on Sunday with a superb victory set up by Neely (4-35) and his fellow opening partner Conan Pollock who took five wickets as the hosts were reduced to 60 for 9, and although they eventually made 111, Burndennett won at a canter.

“It was great to get a five-wicket haul,” said Pollock. “Everything went our way from start to finish. We bowled well and our fielding was excellent.

“In the league we have a chance to make the Premiership as we take on Coleraine. We will just go into that game like the rest of them, play and enjoy our cricket and hopefully seal the win that will help us progress.”

It’s a winner take all clash for Burndennett as they face the Bannsiders who are just six points ahead. A win would see them join Eglinton, Newbuildings and Donemana in the cut-off.

CUP DRAWS

The draws were made on Monday and in the Senior Cup Eglinton are home to Bonds Glen, while Ardmore entertain Brigade. Bready take on Ballyspallen, while holders Donemana face a tricky away day encounter at Newbuildings. Those games are scheduled for Sunday August 1st.

The following week sees the quarter-finals of the Sammy Jeffrey, with St Johnston home to The Nedd, Strabane entertaining Killyclooney, Killyclooney entertaining Glendermott, while there is an all-Tyrone clash with Burndennett taking on close rivals Fox Lodge.

HEARTBREAK FOR FOX LODGE

It was a tough weekend for Fox Lodge who went out of the cup, and lost a thriller against Ardmore in dramatic fashion.

“We were really hampered by unavailability problems this weekend, missing Brian Allen and Johnny Robinson for the cup at Beechgrove, plus Jason Milligan for the league game at Ardmore,” said captain Aaron Heywood.

“I’ve no doubt if we had been at full strength then we could have really challenged Brigade, but all credit to the guys who played, as they gave it their all and we were far from embarrassed, getting a respectable result.

“At Ardmore despite missing three of our top five, and also 16 overs of spin, we really pushed one of the region’s in-form teams all the way. All credit to Ardmore who got over the line. We really seem to relish playing against each other as we have enjoyed some titanic tussles in recent times.

“They have assembled quite a team, and it was great that one of their local lads, Conor Brolly hit the winning runs. Best of luck to them for the rest of the season.”

Fox Lodge are back at Beechgrove on Saturday to face Brigade. A win would secure their progress, but even a narrow loss or a defeat may be enough depending on whether Bonds Glen can beat Bready.


SION WINNING RUN ENDS

Sion were beaten for the first time this season as they took on Maghera in sweltering conditions. Batting first Sion made 157 from their allotted overs with Mark Patterson 37 not out and Nigel O’Neill with an unbeaten 31 the best of the home side.

In the chase Maghera were at relative ease in their first ten overs at 60-0 when a few quick wickets brought Sion back into the game. However when four catches uncharacteristically went down it was always going to be difficult to see the game out and make it ten in a row.

“The lads will no doubt be smarting from this rare defeat but will quickly set their sights full focus for this coming Friday,” said Simon Galloway.

“We take on Maghera again in the semi-final of the T20 competition. All support would be great to see. Action at Sion gets underway on Friday night with a 6.30pm start.