Bob Kerr Irish Senior Cup

A total of 5 North West clubs were in action on Friday hoping to join Limavady and Donemana in the 3rd round of the Bob Kerr Irish Senior Cup at the beginning of an extremely busy weekend for cricketers up and down the country. At the end of another fruitless day for the local clubs in the Inter-regional competitions however, all five had met their Waterloo and most of them in some style.
At Eglinton the home team were indebted to a 50-run eighth wicket partnership between Johnny Gardiner (35) and Bobby Rao (23 not out) as they were shot out for just 80 by NCU side CIYMS. Irish International Thinus Fourie claimed 3 for 27 for the visitors but the real damage was done by Paul Rofe's opening burst which yielded a return of 6 for 22 from his 7 overs. At 22 for 7 the Villagers looked a spent force and although Gardiner and Rao brought about some respectability, the Belfast side cruised to an easy win. Neil Gelston with 41 not out led the way as they passed the target in less than 12 overs.

Further down the coast Coleraine were given a touch by Lisburn on their Bob Kerr Cup debut. The visitors raced to 61 without loss in just the 4th over and that set the tone for a long day in the field for Vischal Chopra's men. Gerry Strydom was out for 56, made off just 20 balls in an innings that was made up of 5 fours and 5 sixes as the spectators certainly got their money's worth. It didn't get much better for the Bannsiders after he went either, Craig Ervine making a superb 141 containing 12 fours and 6 sixes and David Simpson, son of former Brigade man Dean, added an unbeaten 61 in a fifth wicket partnership worth 161. Lisburn's final tally of 366 for 5 certainly shows that there is little wrong with the home side's track but in terms of the game being competitive you would have felt that they would have needed to bat several times to get those. Mind you Coleraine's reply was very commendable in the overall scheme of things and they can take some consolation from the fact that they managed to score a few runs themselves. Professional Mohammed Salman was back to his best making 94 in a knock that included 12 fours and a six whilst Wilson Torrens added 60 as they finished with 230. Craig Ervine was the pick of the Lisburn attack with 5 for 45.

Although they are having an in and out season many would have been rooting for Brigade to overturn Old Belvedere and set up a mouth-watering all- North West clash with old adversaries Limavady in the fourth round. It had all gone moderately well for the Beechgrove side when their hosts made 215, professional Yogesh top scoring with 79 whilst Mark Simpson was excellent for the North West men claiming figures of 5 for 43. It was all too much for them when it came to the batting however and Brigade joined the horror parade when they were dismissed for just 66. Gordon Cooke and Mr Extras accounted for 38 of those so it's not difficult to see where their problem lays at the moment.

Strabane made a much better fist of things when they took first use at Dublin YMCA, and Terence Patton and Jonathan Beukes set up a decent platform for the Tyrone side. Beukes was again the mainstay hitting 71 and after Patton went for 35 the South African was given good support by Darren Moan, who also made 35 and Peter Gillespie who added 27 in their total of 231. Good though that was however it was still not enough to put a serious squeeze on the Leinster side who in truth got there at their cush . Reinhardt Strydom with 87 top scored for them and Alan Lewis, he of rugby refereeing and over 100 Ireland cap fame, added 51 in a 137-run opening partnership. Without Mark Gillespie and Martin Deans the Strabane attack was particularly threadbare and it was little surprise that the hosts had 5 wickets to spare in the end.

Bready too were rather comfortably beaten, Ireland under-19 players Lee Nelson (66) and James Hall (46) combining to help Waringstown to a very competitive total of 204. It should have been around 240 plus after they were on 151 for 3 after 38 overs. But only Keith Morrison, who scored 94 in the Challenge Cup against Derriaghy last weekend,  could provide any solid  support with 33 not out. Brian Scanlon picked up 3 wickets for the Magheramason side, albeit at a cost of 53 runs and spinners Con De Lange and Trevor Hamilton claimed 2 apiece for 20 and 27 runs respectively. Bready's reply got a little bogged down if truth be told and not for the first time this season they appeared to lose sight of the chase. Only Chris Dougherty with 22 contributed anything of note in the top half as they took over 42 overs to make 148 as the North West sides' woes continued.

In the remaining outstanding 2nd round tie Bangor lost to North County by 6 wickets at Balrothery. Jordan McKeown 73 and professional  Yasas Tillekaratne  57 ensured Bangor set a target of 210. Conor Shiel  was the pick of the home bowlers with 3 for 28.  But Conor Armstrong  scored a half century as North County raced to victory with six wickets and over 9 overs remaining.