BREADY CLAIM HISTORIC FIRST LEAGUE TITLE

There were great celebrations at Magheramason over the weekend as Bready claimed a historic, and fully deserved first league title.

Victory over second-placed Coleraine on Saturday all but clinched the title, meaning they only needed one bonus point from Sunday’s match at Beechgrove to secure the crown.

It was perhaps fitting that Davy Scanlon hit the runs that ensured the bonus point needed, as the skipper has been so instrumental in driving his team to the title.

“It’s just massive for club as a whole,” said Scanlon. “A lot of hard work has come to fruition with this title.

“We have gone about things the right way, and developed young players through our club system right through to title winners!

An experienced spine of Craig Young, David Rankin, overseas player Irosh Samarasooriya and Scanlon gave Bready a steely determination, but Scanlon was quick to point to the contribution of all the squad, with the youngsters putting their hands up when needed.

“For sure, the older heads stood up and were counted, but the younger lads played a massive part too, contributing at crucial times when needed.

“It’s without doubt the proudest moment of my sporting life.

“We’ll enjoy the title, and there’s no doubt there will be massive celebrations to come when we are presented with the trophy before our home game with Eglinton on August 25th.”

A look at the stats tell us just where Bready won the title. Irosh was exceptionally consistent and averaged 57.80, coupled with David Rankin, Andy Austin, Andy Lucas, Scanlon and Craig Young who all averaged around 30.

With Craig Young and Scanlon injury free and available for most of the campaign, Bready had the most potent new ball pairing in the region, and indeed beyond, with Young taking 28 wickets at just 14, and Scanlon 20 at 17.

Irosh, Lucas and teenager Gregory McFaul all tool nearly 20, while the economy of the bowling unit was exceptional, the main five strike bowlers conceding between 3.70 and 4.29 runs per over.

There’s no doubt they carried a bit of luck along the way, but after perhaps not getting the rub of the green in years gone by, nobody would begrudge them that.

Judging by the floods of congratulatory messages flooding social media, their success is an extremely popular one.

The challenge for Scanlon and his troops will be to keep that hunger and desire and go again in 2019. There’s no doubt that this could only be the start of a cricketing dynasty at the club.