There was another busy programme for Championship sides this weekend with matches in the senior cup, Sammy Jeffrey Shield and league spread across the two days.
Newbuildings’ cup semi-final against Eglinton on Sunday threatened to be over before it began as the home slide slumped to 39-8 before Mark Hanna’s unbeaten 30 helped them recover to 80 all out.
Eglinton struggled too in reply, but skipper Stuart Thompson who had earlier taken four wickets at the start of that impressive spell, made 31 that left his side just a handful short of their target. Despite that the Premiership contrived to lose 9 wickets with the last pair still 3 runs short of the win.
Chris Cooper picked up 4 wickets for 1 run to spark panic in the villagers’ ranks but the batting side only just held on to win.
With all of that it was to be a poor weekend for Newbuildings and indeed Cooper- the all-rounder becoming the first North West player to be red-carded under the new disciplinary code during their Jeffrey Shield game at Ballyspallen.
Half centuries from Darnell McCallum and Graham Kennedy saw the Roe Valley side easily chase down the visitors’ total of 186 to win by 8 wickets but there is certain to be an enquiry at Union level as to how the match was overshadowed by indiscipline.
It was some weekend for Bonds Glen’s Richard Rodgers as he made an unbeaten 75 in their Sammy Jeffrey win over Drummond and then 110 not out in Sunday’s league encounter at home to Ballyspallen. Those knocks allowed the Bee Gees to record wins in both matches- the league points against in-form ‘Spallen could well be vital as the season progresses.
Darren Moan was at his entertaining best as he smashed 184 at Burndennett on Saturday; 18 fours and 11 sixes in the Killyclooney skipper’s marathon innings while Andre Henry hit 9 fours and 8 sixes in his 36-ball 93 not out. Those two, and 67 from Derek Lynch helped the visitors to a mammoth 389-3 from their 50 overs and despite half centuries from Mark Doherty and Eddie McGettigan, ‘Dennett never threatened to claw it back.
Glendermott are also into the semi-finals of the Shield after they recorded a 7-wicket win at St Johnston and the Bonds Street club stayed top of the league on Sunday after a nail-biting win at home to Burndennett.
The visitors made a challenging 278-8 courtesy of half centuries from Mark Mooney and Mark Doherty, however a brilliant 136 not out from former skipper Alan Johnson was a big factor in Glendermott successfully chasing it down with just one wicket and one ball to spare.
Ballyspallen’s in and out season continued on Sunday when they lost their league momentum in that defeat at Ballyspallen. Mark Averill’s side are still very much in there pitching, however that lack of consistency has been their Achilles heel in the past.
Finally, for now, the North West has confirmed that the scheduled league programme in the Premiership next Saturday has been postponed to accommodate the Interprovincial T20 blitz in Dublin. Any Championship teams with players in the Warriors squad also have the option of postponing their match on Saturday however the only one affected, Ballyspallen are not believed to be pursuing that option.