The runners and riders in this year’s Championship title race have made the turn for home and it is Glendermott who are in the box seat after a day of one-sided matches on Saturday.
The Rectory outfit easily saw off bottom side Drummond despite the visitors making a very respectable 238- Steve Moore hitting 73 of those (7 fours, 3 sixes) and sharing a 112-run stand with Curtis McElwee who added 68.
Gordon Cooke was a standout with the ball for the home side as he returned figures of 6-36 and the hosts made light work of the chase in a dominant reply. Bob Robinson thumped 8 fours and 5 sixes in his 82 while skipper Jason Lynch was unbeaten on 67 when the winning runs were scored in a facile 8-wicket verdict.
Killyclooney stay second in the table courtesy of a 127-run win at home to Bonds Glen. Darren Moan (55) top scored on a day when all the ‘Clooney batsmen chipped in to their total of 263-9. Ash Buchanan with 4 wickets and Derek Curry with 3 ensured Moan’s men didn’t get further away.
The Bee Gees’ reply never got going and only John Long, Ewald Roberts and Buchanan even got starts. Jordan Nelson continues to progress for ‘Clooney and his “fivefor” helped ensure that the promotion-chasers recorded another big win.
Ballyspallen are still in the hunt too as a sparkling display from Graham Kennedy saw the Roe Valley side brush aside the challenge of Newbuildings. The Warriors all-rounder claimed a stunning 5-9 as the home side were dismissed for just 92- Cian Wallace with 41 the lone figure of resistance for Marty Mehaffey’s team.
Kennedy then saw the job through with an unbeaten 36 after Darnell McCallum’s 43 had teed up another impressive win- ‘Spallen with 8 wickets still in the bank at the winning line.
Burndennett aren’t out of the race either and Eddie McGettigan’s side did what few others have managed in recent seasons by hammering St Johnston on their own patch. Michael Rankin top scored with 48 as the Donegal outfit were bowled out for a respectable 178- McGettigan and Mattie Barr claiming three wickets apiece while Mark Roulston bagged a pair.
Burndennett though encountered little difficulty in sweeping to the target- half centuries for Stephen McCay and Mark Pollock while Barr added 35 not out to his earlier wickets in a comprehensive win for the Tyrone men.
Unfortunately, most of Sunday’s games fell foul of the rain- the all-North West National Cup quarter-final between St Johnston and Ballyspallen and the Sam Jeffrey semi-final between Bonds Glen and Glendermott now needing re-housed.
Drummond travelled to Rush and they at least got a game played, however the North West side were beaten by 6 wickets by the quality southerners. Steve Moore, Mattie Mills and Stephen McCloskey all got starts for the visitors who made a respectable 157 all out.
A rain break subsequently reduced the Leinster side’s task to just 141 from 35, however teenager Neil Rock with an unbeaten half century and 49 not out from Conor Mullen took care of that in double-quick time. Simon Dunn’s three wickets kept things respectable for the Roe Valley team but it was little more than that.