JOY OF SIX FOR DONEMANA?

It's cup action all the way this weekend for Donemana as they continue their quest for a record-equalling sixth successive Bank of Ireland NW Senior Cup. They face a tough challenge with league leaders Coleraine coming to The Holm in a repeat of last year's final decider.

The Bannsiders opening attack of Graham Hume and Stephen Hutchinson are the most potent in the division, with South African professional Hume having taken 21 wickets already this campaign, while Hutchinson's five-wicket haul was instrumental in their win against Brigade.

Donemana are also unbeaten in the league, with Imran Butt's run-a-ball 76 helping them to a seven-wicket win over Fox Lodge. They have strength in depth with all members making valuable contributions in their successful season to date.

It could well be an all-Tyrone last four as Fox Lodge attempt to make the semi-finals as they travel to Ardmore, while Strabane face fellow Championship side Ballyspallen. Bready also make the short trip to Newbuildings in what is sure to be a fantastic atmosphere.

On Sunday, Donemana and Bready are on the road to Dublin to face The Hills and Pembroke in their Irish Senior Cup replays, while Newbuildings go to Knockharley attempting to reach the last eight.

******************************************

If at first you don't succeed, keep on trying - that's certainly the case for Bready all-rounder Trevor Hamilton who scored his first hundred at the weekend after more than 30 years in the game.

The 43 year-old scored 123 not out for Bready Fourths in their narrow win at Killyclooney and was clearly delighted at reaching the landmark.

"It felt great to score by first hundred after many years of trying," said Hamilton. "I came close a few times for our firsts scoring 92 against Limavady in 2002 and 88 not out versus Donemana way back in the late 1980's.

"Having played very little since 2011, I thought my chances of getting a ton had passed me by, so I was delighted to eventually get one on Saturday as it helped us win a very tight game by 2 runs, with some good performances from our very young bowling attack consisting of James McKillop (12) Nathan McCombe (12) Brook Crumley (13)."

*******************************************

There was another landmark for a Bready player at the weekend as Reece Kelly took his first senior five-wicket haul, but this time it was in a losing cause as they lost heavily to Eglinton.

"It was nice to get my first senior 'five-for' but it was disappointing to lose the game," said Kelly.

"We dropped a few chances and the heads went down a bit but we'll be okay. It's a young squad and we're getting better the more we play together. There's no reason we can't get into the top four this season."

The teenager is hoping to be part of the Ireland Under 19 squad which will be playing in the World Cup qualifiers in Jersey next month - the prize for the winners a final slot in New Zealand.

"I'm hopeful of staying in the picture and getting a place in the WCQ squad. A few more days like Saturday will help but I've been in the Winter Development Squad and played in the two warm-up games as well so hopefully I can do enough to stay in.

"I'm finishing my A levels shortly and can then concentrate fully on Bready and the Ireland under-19s and I'm looking forward to that."

********************************************

Strabane have been given a home draw in the quarter-finals of the National Cup, with Munster side County Kerry making the long journey northwards to Tyrone - the game is scheduled for Sunday July 9th. However, Strabane will be praying for a positive outcome on the field at the first attempt, as a wash-out will mean them having to make the 600-mile round-trip to Kerry on Sunday July 23rd.

There was disappointment for NW sides in the second round ties, with Burndennett losing at Munster side Midleton by six wickets in a low-scoring game, while there were similar losses for Sion Mills and Killyclooney at Derriaghy and Rush respectively.

*********************************************

There's interprovincial action at Strabane tomorrow (FRI) when the North-West Warriors face the Northern Knights in a T20 clash.

The Warriors' drew a blank last week when their match in Cork against Munster Reds was abandoned without a ball bowled.

Entry is free and the action gets under way at 5pm.

*****************************

The semi-finals of both the Faughan Valley and Eric Cooke Cups will take place on Friday 30th June.

Bready have home advantage over Ardmore, while Donemana are on the road to Coleraine.

In the Eric Cooke Cup, Killyclooney entertain St Johnston, while Strabane host Burndennett in an all-Tyrone clash.

********************************************

There was disappointment for the NW Warriors Ladies side after their interprovincial clash with their NCU counterparts was washed out at Fox Lodge on Sunday. Burndennett's Julie Logue was unbeaten on 23 when play was halted with the NW on 63 for 3 after 16 overs.

In the Ladies League a century stand between Emma Allen (63*) and Joan McIntyre (47) saw Fox Lodge beat Strabane Saints by 22 runs, while Donemana lost to Eglinton by 8 wickets.

************************************************