LAST OVER HEARTBREAK AS NEWBUILDINGS GO OUT OF NATIONAL CUP

After several long, arduous journeys, Newbuildings took their leave of this year's National Cup on Saturday following a gut-wrenching last-over defeat in Laois.

It was a superb effort overall from the North West outfit however they will be gutted to have gone out at such a late stage and especially after their overseas man, Peat Salmon had given them a wonderful start.

The Jamaican was right at the top of his form as Newbuildings batted first and after Mark Hanna had made 42 at the top of the order, Salmon took over. He smashed 16 fours and 5 sixes in a brilliant knock of 114, finally ending in the chase for more runs, stumped off the bowling of Anis Siddiqi.

Ross Hunter also chipped in with 24 but what will have annoyed Dale Culbert most is that despite posting a total of 238, they had 25 deliveries of their innings left unused.

Siddiqi (4-52) fared best of the Laois bowlers and he then swapped ball for bat to dig his side out of trouble after they lost a few early wickets. An 86-run 3rd wicket stand between Siddiqi (43) and Rashid Mehraj got the home side back into contention and although they got the former in time, Mehraj was proving more troublesome.

By the time Salmon finally trapped him in front, Mehraj had added 91 (12 fours) and the game was right in the balance.

A priceless 39 from Phil Blackley gave Laois the edge but still Newbuildings wouldn't go away- two wickets apiece for Graeme Robb, Salmon and skipper Culbert keeping them interested right to the end. Unfortunately for the visitors the last two batsmen were able to scramble the couple of runs needed to get the Leinster side over the line in the very last over sending Culbert's men crashing out.

It has been a fantastic run for Newbuildings and there is every reason to believe that the National Cup has not seen the last of them just yet.

NATIONAL CUP SEMI-FINAL

At Laois, Laois beat Newbuildings by 1 wicket

Newbuildings 238 all out (45.5 overs, P Salmon 114, M Hanna 42, R Hunter 24, A Siddiqi 4-52, A Khan 2-37, A Smit 2-48)

Laois 239-9 (49.2 overs, R Mehraj 91, A Siddiqui 43, P Blackley 39, G Robb 2-31, D Culbert 2-43, P Salmon 2-46, R Hunter 2-58)