Umpires strike in the NW dominates low-key day
What promised to be one of the most important weekends of the North West season turned into something of a damp squib with only two of the four Premiership matches getting the green light.
No play was possible in the scheduled games between Donemana versus Ardmore, and Brigade against Newbuildings, due to wet pitches at both.
There was drama off the field as the NW Umpires Association withdrew their services for all games, and although five of the scheduled seven senior games were played without officials, the North West have opted to postpone Sunday’s four Senior Cup quarter-finals.
In a statement they said: “The Union has been liaising with the Umpire’s Association since Friday morning in a bid to avoid this situation and we will continue to work with various parties next week.
“Whilst a number of today’s games have gone ahead with club Umpires, we believe that it would be unfair to stage tomorrow’s Senior Cup quarter finals without qualified officials.
“We have continued to work today to try to find a resolution that would let those matches go ahead as scheduled, however that has not been possible. We understand that this is obviously disappointing and frustrating for everyone involved that tomorrow’s senior Cup games will now be postponed. A new date for those matches will be set and announced shortly.”
On the field of play the two Premiership matches that did get played were one-sided affairs.
A second-string Fox Lodge side could only post 77 at home to Eglinton, and even that represented a recovery, as they were 27 for 6 at one stage.
Ramey Harpur (37) and Joe Faulkner (10) were the only players to reach double figures as they added 40 for the seventh wicket.
Richard Wylie picked up three wickets, while there were two apiece for Lee Ritchie, Robbie Millar and Mark Averill.
Tommy Orr hit 4 fours and a six in his 41 not out, sharing an unbroken second wicket stand of 52 with Robbie Millar (26*) as Eglinton eased to a nine-wicket win.
Bready are still unbeaten after a comprehensive six-wicket victory at home to Coleraine.
An impressive bowling display had the Bannsiders reeling at 55 for 7 and 78 for 8, with three wickets for Irosh Samarasooriya (3-6) and two for Gregory McFaul (2-16).
They staged a recovery of sorts with David Cooke (37no) and skipper Stephen Hutchinson (16*) adding an unbroken partnership of 44 for the 9th wicket, but a final total of 122 for 8 was never likely to trouble the Premiership leaders and so it proved.
Although Jamie Magee fell early in the chase, David Rankin and Irosh added 94 in 12 overs for the second wicket, before Rankin fell for 44 from 38 balls (6 fours, 1 six).
Irosh smashed 5 sixes and 6 fours in a rapid 65 from only 49 deliveries, before falling with only five needed.
Rory Knox (2-22) picked up a fourth wicket to claim a second bonus point, but the result was never in any doubt.
In the Championship, the one-sided theme continued as Strabane were beaten by nine wickets at home to Ballyspallen.
Rhys Logue top scored with 32 for the Red Caps but they could only manage 90 all out in a contest reduced to 32 overs. Michael O’Brien took three wickets for two runs, while there were two wickets each for Curtis McElwee and Stuart Kennedy.
Stephen Kennedy made an undefeated 35 as he and Andy Christie (28) shared an opening stand of 70 as they romped to a nine wicket win.
Glendermott were impressive 112-run winners at Burndennett as Stevie Moore hit 4 sixes and 4 fours in his 61 as the Rectory side posted 231. He received good support from Alan Johnson (38) and Scott Laird (34).
Gary Neely picked up four wickets in the search for late runs, while Mark Roulston hasd struck the first three blows for the hosts.
Johnson picked up early wickets and the chase never really got going – Burndennett 119 all out with Alan Barr’s 36 the best of their efforts. There were three wickets too for Dylan Lynch (3-8).
Sperrin Springs winners St Johnston inflicted more pain on Killyclooney as they followed up their T20 cup final win with a six-wicket win chasing 169.
It was the father and sons combination of the Macbeths who made the most telling contributions. Ian took three wickets and Scott two as Killyclooney made 168.
Scott then hit 5 sixes and 4 fours in a top score of 55, sharing a third wicket stand of 67 with elder sibling Jack, who made 35 in an impressive chase.
Michael Rankin (29) and David Fleming (25) laying a perfect platform for the chase with an opening stand of 49.
St Johnston then head the Championship table on 69 points from 4 games, ahead of Bonds Glen (54), Burndennett (49) and Ballyspallen (49) who all have a game in hand.
At Ballymagorry, Eglinton (25pts) beat Fox Lodge (0pts) by 9 wickets
Fox Lodge 77 all out (25.5 overs; R Harpur 37; R Wylie 3-22, R Millar 2-1, L Ritchie 2-4, M Averill 2-28)
Eglinton 80/1 (16.3 overs; T Orr 41no, R Millar 26no)
At Magheramason, Bready (23pts) beat Coleraine (2pts) by 6 wickets
Coleraine 122/8 (40 overs; D Cooke 37no; Irosh Samarasooriya 3-6, G McFaul 2-16)
Bready 123/4 (18 overs; Irosh 65, D Rankin 44; R Knox 2-22)
Donemana v Ardmore, Brigade v Newbuildings, both off.
At Burndennett, Glendermott (25pts) beat Burndennett (0pts) by 112 runs
Glendermott 231 (39.4 overs; S Moore 61, A Johnson 38, S Laird 34; G Neely 4-20, M Roulston 3-36)
Burndennett 119 (26.5 overs; A Barr 36, M Roulston 23; D Lynch 3-8, A Johnson 3-20)
At Strabane Park, Ballyspallen (25pts) beat Strabane (0pts) by 9 wickets
Strabane 90 (31.2 overs; R Logue 32, Tanvir Hassan 23; M O'Brien 3-2, C McElwee 2-16, Stu. Kennedy 2-25,
Ballyspallen 92/1 (21.5 overs; Ste Kennedy 35no, A Christie 28)
At Killyclooney, St Johnston (23pts) beat Killyclooney (2pts) by 6 wickets
Killyclooney 168/9 (40 overs; J Nelson 31, R McMorris 20, G Moan 20; I Macbeth 3-25, S Devenney 2-19, S Macbeth 2-25, D Anthony 2-47)
St Johnston 172/4 (28.1 overs; S Macbth 55, J macbeth 35, M Rankin 29, D Fleming 25; J Connor 2-42)