RECTORY BOYS END PROMOTION WAIT
Glendermott will return to he top flight of North West cricket for the first time in almost 6 years next season despite what was in the end an anti-climactic title win on Sunday.
What had turned into a 3-horse race in the second half of the season was reduced to 2 on Saturday evening after the Rectory outfit ended Killyclooney's interest for another year.
The free-scoring visitors needed a rearguard action from their lower order as they batted first; after Andre Henry's 36 it took a half-century from Timmy Dougherty and an 18-ball 41 not out from Richard McMorris to get them up to 175 from their rain-reduced 35 overs.
Gordon Montgomery has taken over skipper duties on Bonds Street in the second half of the season and the new captain led from the front as the hosts replied.
'Goofer' hit 7 fours and 3 sixes in his 78 while the man he replaced, Jason Lynch, added 37 to allow Glendermott to cruise to a 7-wicket win.
That meant that only Ballyspallen could now catch the league leaders and the Roe Valley men made sure the race would go down to the last game as they crushed neighbours Drummond.
Jamie Millar's 42 was the highlight of the visitors' 155 all out as Graham Kennedy picked up 3 wickets and the Averill brothers, Craig and Mark, 2 apiece.
The target offered little challenge to the home side if truth be told- bang in-form Darnell McCallum with an unbeaten 111 (14 fours and 5 sixes) as 'Spallen won by 9 wickets.
Those two results meant that the first and second teams went into their respective final games on Sunday separated by 19 points. Spallen had to win big at home to Bonds Glen and hope that Burndennett could do them a favour and beat the leaders, however there was to be a telling twist.
Heavy overnight rain accounted for the match at Ballyspallen but Glendermott opted to travel to 'Dennett- widely regarded as one of the driest grounds in the Union.
When they got there they were informed that the hosts would be unable to field a team, leaving Eddie McGettigan with little choice but to forfeit and the umpires with only the option of awarding the match to the visitors.
Glendermott were well within their rights to travel to the game and the umpires were left with absolutely no choice in the circumstances, but it was clear that the visitors would have preferred to have closed it out on the field.
It was a disappointing end to what had been a fantastic Championship season, although that is not to deny that the Rectory side were deserving winners.
Ballyspallen will now go into a play-off with Ardmore at Bready on Saturday for a place in the Premiership next season. The teams will have Sunday as a reserve date if required, after which if there is still no outcome, the staus quo will be maintained and clubs will keep their current place for 2019.
For the record- Saturday's other two matches- Newbuildings v St Johnston and Bonds Glen v Burndennett were both called off due to waterlogged pitches.