After last weekend's false start there were no problems this time around as the Long's Supervalu Premier Division season got up and running in Saturday's bright sunshine.

And as it turned out it was to be an excellent day of cricket as a couple of matches went down to the wire in the late evening shade.

Down at Ballyspallen the newly-promoted side edged out neighbours Eglinton in a thriller that could easily have gone either way.

Chasing the home side's 177 all out, the villagers were cruising at 129-3 in reply before the wheels came off the wagon.

With no Stuart Thompson to help them, the loss of Mike Erlank for a battling 58, followed by Jamie Millar 32 and Scott Adair (27) exposed a pretty threadbare middle and lower order.

'Spallen's bowlers did a tidy job and stuck to their disciplines, and that paid off in the final reckoning. Three wickets for Jamie Millar (yes, both teams had one) and a couple each for Graham Kennedy, Jonny Martin and Mark Averill were enough to stop the visitors in their tracks.

New overseas man Brendon Louw top-scored for the home side in that 177 with support coming from the Averill boys Mark 26, and Craig (21).

Lee Ritchie marked his return to the club that he captained to the senior cup final in 2017 by finishing with figures of 4-33, but it will be a game that he, and Eglinton will rue not being able to close out.

Strabane too will surely have made the short journey down the A5 wondering how they didn't start with a win at the home of reigning champions, Bready.

Despite chasing a sizeable 264, the Red Caps had reached 206-3 in reply before the deck folded tamely and they were all out for 240.

Davy Rankin's 4-42 helped turn things around for the hosts just in the nick of time after Chathura Peiris (69) and Ryan Gallagher (64) looked to have teed the visitors up for a shock win.

Rankin was among the runs for his side as well- his 47 along with Marcus Poskitt's 39 and 25 from Ross Dougherty peoviding the support to Irosh Samarasooriya who hit an unbeaten 79.

That 264-8 might have looked a long way off to Peter Gillespie's team at the interval, but they surely went home wondering how they came up short in reply.

There was however to be no hint of a mistake from title favourites Brigade as they flexed their muscle straight from the off with a huge performance against neighbours, Glendermott.

The Beechgrove side posted a whopping 277-run victory, thanks in no small measure to a 257-run second wicket stand between Gareth McKeegan and iftikhar Hussain.

McKeegan seems a different player at the top of the order and he bossed this innings from the start, hitting 23 fours and 6 sixes on his way to an entertaining 162.

Hussain found his shooting boots early as well; the former Pakistan 'A' player making 108 from just 84 balls faced- his knock including 14 fours and 6 sixes.

Glendermott didn't have it in their armoury to break these two up until it was much too late, while an additional cameo of 44 from Johnny Thompson helped the visitors to their mammoth 391 for 6 from 50 overs.

Alan Johnson (3-78) fared best of the home side's bowling while Steve Moore picked up 2-80.

Glendermott's reply was something of a non-event, indeed it took a gritty half century from Jason Lynch to give it some respectability. Lynch top-scored for his side in defeat at Donemana last weekend, and his 57 represented exactly half of their response here.

Jonny Robinson (4-20) claimed the bowling honours for Andy Britton's side while Ross Allen (2-24) can be pleased with his debut in what was a crushing win.

Donemana made it two from two at the top of the table with a bloodless victory over former champions Coleraine.

The hosts made short work of a side that struggled badly with the bat, that despite getting a magnificent start from opener Scott Campbell.

The Bannsiders' former skipper hit 5 fours and 5 sixes in his 75 out of a total of 129; the only other players to get into double figures were Matthew Hutchinson and Dominic Madden who both made 11.

Coleraine's last five wickets fell for the addition of just 8 runs and is symptomatic of the lack of depth in their order this year.

Gary McClintock (3-7), Dwayne McGerrigle (3-40) and Jordan McGonigle (2-8) were the architects of the visitors' downfall.

The home side's reply was emphatic with Dean Mehaffey's 47 laying the platform for a 7-wicket success. Graham Boyd with an unbeaten 29 and Bilal Iqbal (15*) saw the job through from there as Donemana strengthened their position at the top of the table.

In the Sammy Jeffrey Shield there were wins for Ardmore, who thumped Bonds Glen courtesy of a century from Peet Pienaar.

The Bleachgreen outfit are joined in the semi-finals by Newbuildings and Burndennett who posted emphatic wins over out-of-sorts Fox Lodge and Killyclooney respectively.

St Johnston make up the final four following Drummond's withdrawal.


PREMIER DIVISION
At The Holm, Donemana (24pts) beat Coleraine (1pt) by 7 wickets
Coleraine 129 (35 overs; S Campbell 75, G McClintock 3-7, D McGerrigle 3-40, J McGonigle 2-8)
Donemana 132/3 (28.5 overs; D Mehaffey 47, G Boyd 29*)

At The Rectory, Brigade (25pts) beat Glendermott (0pts) by 277 runs
Brigade 391/6 (50 overs; G McKeegan 162, I Hussain 108, J Thompson 44; A Johnson 3-78, S Moore 2-80)
Glendermott 114 (31.4 overs; J Lynch 57; J Robinson 4-20, A Britton 2-5, R Allen 2-24)

At Bridge Park, Ballyspallen (21pts) beat Eglinton (4pts) by 24 runs
Ballyspallen 177 (49.5 overs; B Louw 43, M Averill 26, C Averill 21; L Ritchie 4-33, M Mills 2-20, J Millar 2-48)
Eglinton 153 (45.2 overs; M Erlank 58, J Millar 32, S Adair 27; J Millar 3-20, J Martin 2-16, M Averill 2-21, G Kennedy 2-22)

At Magheramason, Bready (21pts) beat Strabane (4pts) by 24 runs
Bready 264/8 (50 overs; I Samarasooriya 79*, D Rankin 47, M Poskitt 39, R Dougherty 25, A Austin 22; R Gallagher 2-32, A Gillespie 2-43)
Strabane 240 (48 overs; C Peiris 69, R Gallagher 64, R Logue 26; D Rankin 4-42, C Olphert 2-43)

SAMMY JEFFREY SHIELD 1st ROUND

At Ballymagorry, Newbuildings beat Fox Lodge by 6 wickets
Fox Lodge 110 (35 overs; J Milligan 31; T McKeegan 3-15, J Dunn 2-16, A Mitchell 2-17, J McCorkell 2-19) Newbuildings 111-4 (28.4 overs; D McCallum 33, C Wallace 26; J Milligan 2-21)

At The Bleachgreen, Ardmore beat Bonds Glen by 157 runs
Ardmore 230 (47.4 overs; P Pienaar 140, D Curry 30, J Wilson 21; D Curry 4-25, K Moore 3-37)
Bonds Glen 73 (27.3 overs; K Moore 21; G Neely 5-27, J Wilson 3-21)

At Burndennett, Burndennett beat Killyclooney by 8 wickets
Killyclooney 126 (34.2 overs; G Moan 33; R McCay 6-23, M Pollock 2-10)
Burndennett 132-2 (24.5 overs; M Doherty 51, M Pollock 37, S Ahmed 21 not out; W Finlay 2-39).