Donemana stay top with win at Ballyspallen
Donemana cemented their place at the top of the Premier Division on Saturday on a day when rain again took a hand in proceedings across the league. The Holm side recorded their third championship win in three outings when they had 46 runs to spare at picturesque Ballyspallen.
Half centuries for Levi Dougherty and William McClintock provided the platform for the visitors to post a competitive 196 all out; Dougherty hitting 4 fours and 3 sixes in his 57 while his partner added 7 fours and 3 sixes on his way to making 52.
Brendon Louw, more renowned for his work behind the stumps, fared best of the hosts' bowlers as he returned figures of 3-49 but at half way the home side would have felt they were right in the contest.
'Spallen's reply started very brightly and runs from Adam McDaid (28) and Andy Christie (27) saw them reach 79 for the loss of just one wicket in reply, before Louw chipped in with a valuable 42.
Dwayne McGerrigle and Jordan McGonigle then turned the match on its head with spells of 5-31 and 4-34 respectively as Ballyspallen's lower order gave way.
Paul McIlmoyle's 16 not out was the best of the rest as the Roe Valley outfit's batting line-up failed to cope with the visitors' varied attack.
From their lofty early position the home side were finally bowled out for 150- that McGerrigle/McGonigle combination sending Donemana back to the top of the table.
Chasers Brigade were stopped in their tracks as their game at Coleraine was abandoned after just 11 overs. By that stage the visitors had reached 74 for 1; David Barr with 31 not out and Gareth McKeegan (30) having laid a decent platform. It wasn't to be however as the elements took charge, and these two will now have to go again in the coming weeks.
It was a similar story at Eglinton although on this occasion, visitors Bready can think themselves unlucky that the weather prevented them from making progress in the defence of their title.
This one was well into the second innings before the elements intervened, the home side having been bowled out for 144 white Bready had reached 42 for two in reply.
Once again it was Mike Earlank with 54 who top scored for Eglinton, while Tommy Orr with 28 and Andy Millar (24) had given them an excellent start.
Gregory McFaul (4-25) was best with the ball for the champions, and they looked to be well on their way to the target when the rain forced that abandonment.
The fourth and final Premiership game of the day was completed and what a match it turned out to be at the Rectory.
Patience very much won the day here as both sets of players and officials waited it out until well after 4 p.m. before they got a start, however they were rewarded with the match of the season so far.
Neither side had as yet managed a win their opening two games and there seems to be very little between them judged on this evidence.
Strabane won the toss and batted first and in their reduced 32 over posted a very competitive 227 for 6.
Star of the show for the Red Caps was their overseas professional, Chathura Peiris, who made an unbeaten 123. The Sri Lankan hit 9 fours and 10 sixes in his 80-ball knock, with support coming from Peter Gillespie 35 not out and Tommy Barr with 24.
That latter partnership was worth a match-winning 130 as Keshan Wijerathne (3-33) and Gareth Burns (2-43) fared best with the ball for Glendermott.
The hosts almost timed their reply to perfection before coming up short by just the narrowest possible margin.
Steve Moore fared best of the top order as he made a quick 47 followed in by Bob Robinson (24) and Wijerathne (21).
It was the brothers Cooke however who took the hosts right to the brink- Gordon's unbeaten 65 and a composed 36 not out from David just not enough in the end.
Gordon's knock came off just 36 deliveries and contained 8 fours and a six, however heading into the last over the pair still needed 12 to win.
Former Strabane captain Barr took on the responsibility and bowled superby to restrict the batsmen to just 5 runs off the first 5 deliveries. David Cooke dispatched the final ball of the match into the trees, however it's still left Glendermott one short.
This wasn't the first time the Barr has showed his worth in a similar situation at the Rectory, in 2013 he bowled a triple wicket maiden in the last over to secure a tie for the Red Caps at this very venue.
Peiris with 3-44 was the most successful of Strabane's bowlers, although Ryan Gallaghers 1-14 from 7 overs was a telling factor.
Not quite as telling as Barr's final over mind, as Strabane celebrated a very valuable win.
The three Championship games fell by the wayside, and although there were starts in a couple of these none of the trio were played to a conclusion.
Organisers will be hoping for better fortunes from the weather Gods in the near future if they are to avoid one of those dreaded fixture backlogs.