WARINGSTOWN can rightly call themselves history-makers after winning the All-Ireland Twenty20 Cup with a revenge win over Clontarf at a wet Bready yesterday.
It was Clontarf who beat the Villagers in the first running of this competition – between the four provincial T20 winners – last year but having added this trophy to last month’s NCU Challenge Cup success, the only other cup they didn’t win last season, they now are the proud holders of all six available trophies.
In the end, it was much closer than expected with, from what proved to be the last ball of the rain-interrupted final, Clontarf’s Wasim Azmat was caught 10 yards in from the boundary at long-on by Phil Eaglestone. If he had cleared the fielder, the Dubliners would have won the trophy but, after scoring 134 without loss in their 15-over innings, Waringstown captain Greg Thompson felt they deserved the victory.
“We had to play some good cricket to get across the line and they made us sweat at the end but I think we deserved the win. The opening partnership put us in such a strong position and to chase 155 in 15 overs in normal conditions here was a tough ask,” he said.
“Bill (Coghlan) got them close but it’s a big hit down the ground into the wind, there weren’t many sixes there all day, but pleased to get over the line.
“It’s great to win all six trophies, the next objective will be to win them all in one season!
“So will enjoy this one but if we have any chance of winning the league we have to win again tomorrow (against Civil Service North, at Stormont). But we have been in double headers every weekend since the start of July so credit to our boys for hanging in there and putting in big performances when it counts.”
It has been common place for openers Adam Dennison and James Hall to get them off to a good start this season but yesterday they excelled even themselves with two chanceless innings. They scored only 44 from the first eight overs but then pressed the accelerator and added 78 from the next six overs before the rain arrived.
After a 80 minutes stoppage they were left with only one more over and added another 12 with Hall adding a couple of boundaries to make a final count of five fours and three sixes while Dennison, named man of the match for the better strike rate, hitting seven fours and two sixes from his 42 balls.
James McCollum was the surprise choice to open the open the bowling with Shaheen Khan but he delivered the big wicket of former Waringstown professional Obus Pienaar with his third ball and when Khan and Gary Kidd added three more in the space of seven balls to reduce Clontarf to 41-4, Waringstown were in control.
But Coghlan hit Phil Eaglestone for three fours in successive balls and with the rain coming, Asmat went for the glory hit – but Eaglestone made amends with a safe catch and yet another trophy was on its way to The Lawn.
As Thompson acknowledged, though, the league will be much harder to win and CIYMS relentless surge to the title continued at Stormont as they recovered from 82 for five, needing 196 for victory to win by four wickets with almost five overs to spare.