BREADY CLAIM SAM MCCONNELL CHARITY CUP

It has been quite the start to the new season for Bready and the Magheramason club have claimed the first silverware of 2018 when they won the Sam McConnell Charity Cup beating Donemana in Sunday's shoot-out.

The game annually pitches the Faughan Valley winners against the North West senior cup holders and it was the home side who took the honours with a last-over 5-wicket verdict.

Batting first, Donemana, already beaten here in the league this season of course, posted 158-9 in their 20 overs. Malith Cooray, the club's new overseas player, top scored with 56 (6 fours and a six)- the Sri Lankan sharing in a 78-run opening stand with Tom Riddles who made 41 (3 fours, 2 sixes).

The North West champions piled on the runs early; William McClintock's 33 taking them to 130-1 before the Bready bowlers reined it back a bit. Conor Olphert (3-20), Irosh Samarasooriya (3-27) and Davy Scanlon (2-29) were the best of it with the ball as the visitors set their hosts 159 to win.

Bready started very well themselves as they set about the reply- a partnership of 70 between David Rankin and Irosh Samarasooriya (29) moving things along nicely.

Rankin looked to be back to something near his best for the North West Warriors in Dublin at the start of this month, but there are few better white-ball batsmen in the region when he's on song. And that was certainly the case here as he hit 3 fours and 5 sixes on his way to 68 that teed up Bready's win.

Skipper Scanlon saw the job through with an unbeaten 28 although the winners only had 3 deliveries of their 20 overs to spare.

It has all the makings of a very good summer at Magheramason so long as 'Sca' and his side can keep their early season momentum.

The Championship final was won by another in-form team as Ballyspallen saw off the challenge of St Johnston to win by 18 runs.

Opening bat Stephen Kennedy made 49 and overseas man Darnell McCallum added 29 early on for the Roe Valley team, however the real impetus came from Craig Averill.

The former Eglinton all-rounder hit 7 fours and 2 sixes in his unbeaten 71 as 'Spallen closed on 164-4.

The Donegal side were always thereabouts in their reply- 45 from skipper Ian Macbeth the best of it before 3 wickets for Stephen McCloskey and two apiece for Gareth Burns and man-of-the-match Kennedy saw them fall 18 runs short.