Gillespie century takes Strabane into semi-finals
GILLESPIE CENTURY TAKES STRABANE INTO NATIONAL CUP SEMI-FINAL
An Aaron Gillespie century - his third of the season - was enough to see Strabane through to the last four of this season's National Cup on Sunday afternoon after a hard-fought win in Kerry.
The first game at Strabane Park was abandoned due to incessant rain, but the North West side will feel that it was a worthwhile journey as they secured a trip to Terenure for next month's semi-final.
Warriors all-rounder Gillespie has been suffering from a series of niggles this season and retired hurt shortly after reaching his landmark, but hit 12 fours and 2 sixes in his 86-ball hundred before coming off.
The 20-year old shared in a 128-run stand with Ryan Gallagher (38) that helped the visitors recover from 47-3 after Khuram Iqbal (2-25) and Shani Alam (2-29) had started well as Kerry set about defending their total of 192-9.
Alam had earlier top scored with 35 while Moshin Taj made a late 33 not out and Azeem Khan 28 in the home side's effort with the bat, while for Strabane, Kevin Pretorius (3-36), Tommy Barr (3-43) and TJ Boyd (2-25) were best with the ball.
Kerry certainly fought their corner throughout and cameos from Iqbal (23) and Qasim Mohammed (21) also helped as they batted their full 40 overs.
The quality of the Red Caps, only relegated from the North West Premier division for the first time in their history last year, was to finally win through however as they scored the winning runs with less than 2 overs to spare.
Strabane now face another away day in the semi-final next month as they travel to Dublin to face Terenure, who knocked out holders Rush two weeks ago. The other semi-final sees Malahide hosting NCU side Derriaghy.
National Cup Quarter-Final replay
At Kerries West, Strabane beat County Kerry by 6 wickets
Kerry 192-9 (40 overs; S Alam 35, M Taj 33*, A Khan 28, K Iqbal 23, Q Mohammed 21, K Pretorius 3-36, T Barr 3-43, T Boyd 2-25)
Strabane 194-4 (38.1 overs; A Gillespie 101, R Gallagher 38, K Iqbal 2-25, S Alam 2-29)