Breadyís lead at the top of the Premiership remains intact with three games to go after the Magheramason men out-battled second-placed Strabane in an enjoyable contest up at the Park.
Not for the first time this season it was all about the bowlers for Bready, but not necessarily with the ball this time. Some good work from Ryan Gallagher (3-41) in particular had the league leaders on the rack early on despite David Rankin (21) and Jamie Magee (18) giving their side a reasonable platform at the top of the order.
From 50-1 however the visitors soon found themselves 89-6 before Davy Scanlon and Craig Young came to the rescue. With the Red Caps sensing a kill, the two Warriors players put together a 63-run partnership before Young fell to Rhys Logue (2-71) for 34.
Scanlon battled on to add another 73 in an unbroken 9th wicket stand with Andy Lucas- the skipper finishing 69 not out (6 fours, 3 sixes) while Lucas was unbeaten on 38 (4 fours, 2 sixes) in a total of 233-8.
The Red Caps will have felt that they let the leaders off the hook in those last 15 overs and unfortunately for them it wasnít to be the only time. Their reply was going along really well at 73-0 before the loss of Rachit Gaur for 49 got Breadyís tail up again, and the home side then lost their entire top order for the addition of just 44 more runs to hand the initiative back for a second time.
It was an advantage that Scanlonís side never lost as Strabane were all out for 159- Logue making a patient 54 (2 fours) that at least earned them a couple of bonus points. It was Breadyís and Lucasís day however- the spinner taking 4-34 from his 10 overs to complement those earlier runs as Bready edged closer to that elusive title win.
Brigade had little difficulty in seeing off Fox Lodge at Beechgrove as the cup winners maintained their outside chance of making it a league and cup double. Cebo Tshikiís 47 was by some way the best of the Ballymagorry teamís 141 all out; Jason Milligan (24) and Jamie McIntyre (17) the only other contributions of note.
There were three wickets apiece for Ryan Macbeth (3-40) and Johnny Thompson (3-53)- the latter playing his last match before a 2-game ban kicks in next week. Jonny Robinson (2-13) tidied up as the Foxies folded tamely.
To be fair, Brian Allenís team did put a bit of pressure on the Beechgrove men at the start of the reply. David Barr made 27 and Iftikhar Hussain 25 but at 71-4 the Foxies did have a squeak. An unbroken 5th wicket partnership between Thompson (50) and David Murdock (22) ensured no further disruption for Brigade however as they recorded a 6-wicket win.
Donemana found runs much harder to come by at Sandel Lodge as the reigning champions finally loosened their grip on the Premiership trophy.
Malith Cooray (36), Ricky-Lee Dougherty (30), William McClintock (29) and Andrew Riddles (23) all got starts but the champions struggled to land that telling blow. Instead it was Graham Hume (3-12 from 9.1 overs), Andrew Douglas (3-35) and Stephen Hutchinson (2-43) who managed to keep things respectable as Coleraine turned the screw.
The home side, without their skipper Scott Campbell, were given a superb start to their reply by Marcus Poskitt. The diminutive opener batted way beyond his years to hold the order together- finally making 66 (7 fours and a six) to keep the Bannsiders on course for a big win.
Rishi Chopra (24) and Matthew Hutchinson (21) offered support to Poskitt however wickets were tumbling all too quickly with Cooray (2-24), Dwayne McGerrigle (2-31) and Kyle Dougherty (2-41) combining to keep Donemana interested.
Unfortunately for the outgoing champions however they just didnít have the runs to play with and Poskittís effort was the telling factor as Coleraine fell over the line with just 2 wickets to spare as they moved back into second place in the table.
Ardmore gave themselves a real chance of avoiding automatic relegation as they posted a thumping win at Eglinton. The Bleachgreen sideís batting has failed to fire more often than not this season but they made no mistake here, taking advantage of a fairly average villagersí attack.
Without skipper Stuart Thompson the hosts lacked any real cutting edge- Andy Millar (2-57) faring best although Ross Allenís 0-35 from 10 was a decent effort in the circumstances.
All the Ardmore batsmen were among the runs with Decker Curry leading the way as he made 84. The former Ireland International looked set to record century number 100 before missing a straight one from Millar and trapped lbw- something of an anti-climactic end to an excellent innings.
Curry hit 11 fours and 3 sixes; sharing in a partnership of 114 with Azeem Ghumman (38) before both fell in quick succession. Ghumman and Paul McDowell had earlier put on 53 for the first wicket with the latter hitting a typically-aggressive 32-ball 40 (2 fours, 4 sixes).
After that, Steve Lazars continued his good run with a quick 61 (5 fours, 3 sixes) while Peter Harrigan chipped in with an unbeaten 43 as the Bleachgreen side racked up 291-4 in their 50 overs.
The villagers it has to be said contributed to their own demise, dropping eight catches in a very poor fielding display.
Eglintonís cup final hangover carried on into their innings as they were dismissed for 158 in reply. Millarís 57 at the top of the order (8 fours, 2 sixes) gave them a solid start while cameos from Ross Allen (27), Karl OíDoherty (27) and Jamie Millar (20) added respectability of sorts.
Realistically however the result was never in doubt at any stage in the second half- Conor Brolly (2-22), Gary Neely (2-24), Curry (2-30) and David Anthony (2-45) sharing the workload as the visitors set up a relegation showdown with Fox Lodge next weekend.
Finally, there was a record-breaking day at the top of the Championship as Killyclooney racked up a mammoth 466-9 in their promotion bid at home to Drummond. Overseas man Andre Henry hit 20 fours and 22 sixes on his way to a 91-ball 225- sharing in a 4th wicket stand of 255 with Mark Gordon who made 70.
Drummondís reply was a rather more modest 184 as the Tyrone side closed out an emphatic 282-run victory.