MUM’S THE WORD
There was history created at the weekend when Burndennett’s Julie Logue came into direct opposition with her 16 year-old son Aidan, of Fox Lodge - the first time a mother and son have crossed swords in a senior match.
Logue played 19 One-Day Internationals for Ireland Women between 1988 and 1996, including matches against England, Australia and New Zealand, but admitted the weekend match was amongst the most nervous she had been in her illustrious career.
“When I found out that we were meeting Fox Lodge and I would be playing against my son, I felt nervous combined with excitement,” said Julie.
“It was a very proud moment for me as a mother. Even though the slagging had been going on for weeks, I really wanted Aidan to do well. On the day my competitive streak kicked in and wanted Burndennett to win.
“Even before we got on the pitch we both were getting stick from both teams, but all in good humour.”
The match was a one-sided affair, but Julie played her part as her team recovered from a disastrous start to at least gain respectability.
She made an unbeaten 10 as she and Eddie McGettigan put on a century partnership.
“The game from our point of view went awful and Aidan just kept looking out at me as each wicket fell. I went in at 29 for 8 and of course was getting smiles and kept being asked to hit him a catch.
“I enjoyed being able to stay there until the end and I'm sure at same time he was proud of me for that. At end of game I gave him a hug and wished him and his team all the best for the next round.
"I just wish that he'd got to come to crease as I was preparing to not stop behind the stumps, but I never got that chance. I just became mum again off the field but have to live now with stick for a while to come. I have to take it as I gave enough leading up to it. I'm a super proud mum of a super son.”
For Aidan, the one-sided nature of the contest meant he regretfully didn’t get the opportunity to bat out in the middle.
“It certainly was an exciting game for me as I was playing against my mum and my uncle, Mark Roulston. I was getting a lot of stick from the Burndennett lads, especially Mark.
“Although we got the win I would have loved to get the opportunity to bat just to face my uncle and especially because my mum who was keeping, but it wasn’t to be.”
Fox Lodge now face Eglinton in the quarter-finals, while in the other games Donemana are at Coleraine, Newbuildings play Ballyspallen and Ardmore take on Brigade.
JUST WHAT THE DOC ORDERED
It hasn’t been the best start to the season for Donemana, languishing bottom of the league and knocked out of the Irish Senior Cup, but it was back to business as usual at the weekend as their quest to clinch a record-breaking seventh Senior Cup in a row started with a seven-wicket win at Strabane.
Donemana skipper Ricky-Lee Dougherty acknowledged their slow start but is hoping the win is the catalyst to get their campaign back on track.
"It’s certainly true that we haven't started the season well but the cup brings out the best in us,” said Dougherty.
“It was a clinical all-round display by the lads and hopefully kick-starts our season and gives us momentum.”
Donemana face Brigade on Saturday and Dougherty is all too aware of the importance of getting a much-needed win against their old foes.
“It’s certainly a big game on Saturday and we can't afford too many more losses, indeed if any, if we are to win title again. We never need any motivation playing against Brigade and hopefully we can collect the points.”
STRABANE WIN THRILLER AGAINST ARDMORE
Tipped for relegation after an opening day mauling, Strabane won their second game of the month to move into third place in the league as they chased down 273 to beat Ardmore in a run-filled thriller at the Park.
Once again it was Peter Gillespie who top scored, but there were vital contributions throughout the team, with half centuries for Rhys Logie and Chanthura Peiris.
“It was a very good chase by us,” said Gillespie. “We knew it was a great batting wicket from the day before and that there wasn't much in it for the bowlers.
“We were happy to let Ardmore bat first as we figured the might not know what par score was. Having watched Donemana bat on it the day before I reckoned 290-300 was par so I was happy to chase anything below that.
“Ardmore got into a strong position early in their innings but we managed to bring it back around the second drinks break at 34 overs and held it tight until the last 5 overs. Although we started our innings slow we knew that with wickets in hand we could come home chasing 7-8 an over which was the case.”
Gillespie was full of praise for young opener Rhys Logue who got the innings off to a strong start.
“We were all delighted for Rhys Logue getting his first senior half century. He should have got it the week before in Cork but missed out so it was great to see him back in the runs again. He's getting a great chance this year at the top of the order and so far, he is grabbing it with both hands.”
Gillespie batted at number seven in Sunday’s win and revealed the thought process behind his move down the order in recent times.
“I dropped down the order to six last year when we got relegated as I wanted to start to put the onus on the younger guys like Aaron and Ryan to start scoring the bulk of the runs.
“I am not getting any younger and I won't be around forever so it was important that the guys start to get the chance to take more responsibility as they are the future of the team. They did that magnificently last year and I was happy to bat with the lower order.
“On Sunday I went to seven as I felt that with the run-rate up around 7-8 an over that it was a good time to let Khushpal bat. He is a fantastic striker of the ball and he can score quickly when he gets in so i wanted to give him more time to get settled.”
Looking ahead to the rest of the season, Gillespie felt the back-to-back victories sets them up nicely for the season ahead.
“We came through a tight game the week before in Cork and the team spirit has been fantastic this year, even after the defeat to Donemana on Saturday.
“We know there are still more tough games to come but the team is gelling nicely and we know that we are capable of playing good cricket. We are a young team but everyone is eager to learn and improve as cricketers and that is important as anything.”
BURNDENNETT AND STRABANE SAINTS WIN IN LADIES LEAGUE
Strabane Saints kept up their winning ways with a five-wicket victory over local rivals Fox Lodge in the Tyrone derby.
The Saints batted first and posted 118, with Anji Porter making an unbeaten 42. Molly Devine’s 37 got Fox Lodge close but they fell 11 short with Chloe Devine (2-14) the best with the ball.
That was mainly due to excellent bowling from Chloe Deans (2-14) and Rachel McCallan (1-34), which allowed Strabane to pick up yet another victory.
Devastating spells from Nicola Arbuckle (5-10) and Maria McGettigan (4-10) saw Bready dismissed for just 40 in their game at Burndennett.
Maria McGettigan and Leanne Brandon steered the home side to a 9-wicket win. Special mention to Maddie Campbell of Bready who was playing her first match on her visit from Australia.