NEWBUILDINGS INTO SENIOR SEMI’S AS PROMOTION RACE HEATS UP

Another busy weekend of Championship cricket ended on Sunday evening with Newbuildings being the first team through to the semi-finals of this season’s Senior Cup. Marty Mehaffey’s side accounted for last year’s beaten finalists Ballyspallen in the Roe Valley, courtesy of half centuries from Mark Hanna and Stephen Wallace and a superb knock from the skipper that changed the course of the contest.

The visitors looked on course for a competitive total before Mehaffey arrive and smashed 7 fours and 5 sixes in his 44-ball unbeaten 73 and after that you suspected the 279 was beyond the home side.

Darnell McCallum tried his best to tee off in reply- the West Indian with 4 fours and 3 sixes in his 22-ball 40 but it wasn’t enough. Stephen Kennedy batted well for his 52 and at 121-2 there was a chance that ‘Spallen could make a game of it, however the middle and lower order, missing a couple of regulars, was just found wanting.

Twenty-four hours earlier Glendermott went to the top of the Championship table with a 4-wicket win over the same Newbuildings side in a near 600- run thriller at the Rectory. Skipper Mehaffey was in the runs here too albeit his 64 was slightly bettered by opener Hannah who made 77. Gordon Cooke claimed 4 wickets for the home team and his brothers David and Ian added 2 apiece as Newbuildings racked up 291-8.

Glendermott looked in a little bit of trouble at 54-3 in reply before David Cooke and Gordon Montgomery enjoyed a stand of 119 for the 4th wicket- Montgomery falling just 6 runs short of a deserved century. Cooke though didn’t miss out- finishing unbeaten on 109 (11 fours and 4 sixes) as the Bonds Street boys won cosily.

Ballyspallen stayed right on the leaders’ shoulders as they won a less-frenetic contest at Burndennett. All out for 158, the Roe Valley side had no real trouble defending their score, eventually dismissing Eddie Mc Gettigan’s team for 99 in reply.

Craig Averill with 70 was by some way the top scorer for the visitors while Mark Snodgrass picked up 4 wickets for ‘Dennett. The second innings however was all about Graham Kennedy as the teenager followed up his excellent effort for the Warriors on Friday night with a match-winning spell of 6-17 here.

Mark Doherty with 25 provided whatever resistance there was from the hosts while Mark Averill (3-33) was the ideal foil for Kennedy at the other end to allow ‘Spallen to stay in touch at the top.

St Johnston out-pointed Bonds Glen by just 8 runs in the closest game of the day with Rammohan Goud (41) the pick of the Donegal team’s batting. Two wickets each for Ewald Roberts, Lee Britton and David Robinson prevented the damage from being any worse as the Saints made 194.

A half century from Ash Buchanan and another for overseas man Roberts looked to have set the Bee Gees on their way to the win and at 132-1 in reply that looked like the only conceivable outcome. That was before Nathan Cole arrived on the scene however to snatch the game away from the visitors with a timely 5-wicket haul.

Giles Moan’s 81 was a major factor in Killyclooney making 182 against Drummond- 4 wickets here for Simon Dunn and 3 for Damien Carlin keeping things in check for the Roe Valley outfit.

Skipper Chris Moore chipped in with a half century in the home team’s reply however 5 wickets from Andre Henry and 3 for William Finlay saw the hosts dismissed for 150 as ‘Clooney stay very much in the mix.