Chris Dougherty turned CIYMS’s Irish Cup tie into a solo performance to knock out five-time winners North County.

The one-time Ireland international was a lone warrior as the Balrothery side reduced CI to 90 for five but he stayed in the middle until the 48th over to hit 122 of his side’s 220 from 148 balls.

It not only proved more than enough to beat an under-strength North County side, but ended up nine runs more than the visitors’ total, who never recovered from losing five wickets for seven runs in 21 balls as they collapsed to 37-6, with four successive batsmen, including Ireland international Eddie Richardson first ball, dismissed without scoring.

Opening bowlers Nigel Jones and Allen Coulter did the damage, bowling their 10 overs straight through to leave County reeling at 62 for six. South African professional Malcolm Nofal provided their only resistance and when he was out for 59, stumped off Trevor Britton’s third delivery, the innings was over just nine runs later.

NCU sides enjoyed a wonderful day with CI leading no fewer than five Premier League sides into the second round, where they will be joined by holders Waringstown and Instonians who, as last year’s semi-finalists, received byes.

No one achieved a better result than Muckamore who went to Malahide and claimed a thrilling one wicket victory thanks to a superb undefeated century by Craig Drummond.

Coming to the middle in the 18th over, with the Moylena side in peril on 48 for five, needing 213 for victory, he lost Adjita Adey in the next over but then dominated a seventh wicket stand of 108 with skipper Neil Gill and finished the job with 11 balls to spare. Drummond hit 18 fours and two sixes in his 108 not out.

The match of the day, at Donemana, turned out to be just that but the home side ended up losing as Test player Tyrone Kane bowled Andrew Riddles with the last ball of the match.

Donemana were 12 runs short at the end of the 49th over, with their last pair at the wicket, but Merrion had bowled their overs too slowly and were penalised six runs to leave the North West double winners needing only six to win. But a superb over by Kane restricted them to four off the first five balls and he then delivered the coup de grace.

It proved another horror day for the North West in the Irish Cup with Strabane their only team in the second round draw.