Brigade win again as Donemana lose
Brigade took advantage of an unexpected slip-up by Donemana on Saturday afternoon which means that after the first month of action in the Premier league, the Beechgrove side are now protecting the Premier Division's only unbeaten record.
It took something of a rearguard action for Andy Britton's men to get over the line as well, because at 73 for 5 at home to Ballyspallen, they too looked to be in trouble early on.
Not for the first time, it took a half century from skipper Britton along with knocks of 20 apiece from Rachit Gaur and Jonny Robinson, and a telling last wicket partnership worth 42 between Robbie Logue who made 23 not out and Ryan Macbeth who made 20.
All that allowed the home side to post a very competitive 208 all out, with the returning Mark Averill (3-38) and Steven McCloskey (2-28) the best of the 'Spallen bowlers.
Brigade's potent attack soon had the visitors in trouble in their reply however and when they were reduced to 59-7 there was quite simply no way back.
Graham Kennedy again showed maturity beyond his years as he stood firm in the middle making 64 out of a final total of 114. There was however to be less resistance around hin.
Britton starred with the ball as well, picking up 3-18 from his 8 overs supported by Ross Allen who showed his worth with 2 for 14 from 10 overs. Robinson (2 for 14 from 3) and iftikhar Hussain (2-37) were the others on target for the hosts.
The win was eventually more comfortable than it had looked like being, and allowed Brigade to retain their early season momentum at the top end of the table.
Donemana arrived at Eglinton missing several players while the home side were boosted by the return of Stuart Thompson. The Ireland man did not figure as a bowler, however his very presence seemed to give his team a lift.
The villagers soon had the league leaders in trouble on a pitch providing plenty of assistance to the bowlers. Early wickets for Stevie Dunne (3-29) and Mattie Mills (2-34 ) saw Donemana slump to 39 for 6 and in truth they never fully recovered.
Overseas man Bilawal Iqbal steadied the ship with an unbeaten 48, sharing in a 54- run stand with William McClintock who made 30. A late 23 from Ritchie McBrine also helped; however the final tally of 147 all out looked modest.
Eglinton on the other hand started extremely well -Andy Miller with an agressive 39 and Josh Martin (33) sharing in a first wicket stand worth 66.
Tommy Orr added 22 and Mike Erlank 20 as Eglinton timed the run chase really well to reach the target with 5 wickets and almost 10 overs to spare.
Iqbal (3-20) also made the most of conditions with the ball but the visitors simply did not have enough runs and were well beaten in the end.
Champions Bready added to Glendermott's woes as they posted an 84- run win at Magheramason.
Irosh Samarasooriya hit 87 and David Rankin 54 to continue their fine individual runs of form at the top of Bready's order. Marcus Poskitt's earlier 29 also chippee in to help the home side post 248 for 8 in their 50 overs.
Keshan Wijerathne (4-27) was easily the pick of the visitors' bowling and the overseas man was also by some margin the best of their reply as well.
The Sri Lankan made 71 batting at number 8- the next highest effort with the bat after him being Alan Johnson's 12 in an overall total of 164 all out.
An emphatic win for Bready who have found a bit of form in the league over the last number of weeks, but conversely these are testing times for the Bonds Street team.
Strabane were once again involved in the day's closest game as they lost out at Sandel lLodge by 2 wickets.
The Red Caps found runs hard to come by as they battered first- Aaron Gillespie making 41 and Khushpal Purewal adding 26 while Peter Gillespie (20) chipped in to a total of 158 for 9 in 50 overs.
Testament to how difficult scoring had become, Graham Hume's 8 overs saw him return figures of 2 for 19, while Varun Chopra picked up 2-15 and Rishi Chopra 2- 34.
The home side also found the going tough in their chase, and particularly in the face of a decent effort from the Tyrone side with the ball.
Khushpal (2-21) and Ryan Gallagher (1-14 from his 10 overs) kept the pressure on Coleraine's batting throughout. As has been the case quite often this season, however Graham Hume was key to Coleraine reply, and Strabane couldn't shift him.
Only Rishi Chopra with 24 was able to make much inroads out of the top order, and there was little assistance for the South African in the lower half either, however his unbeaten 65 proved to be enough.
Brian Acheson's 8 not out was much more valuable than it looks at first glance as he held an end for Hulme that allowed Coleraine to edge over the winning line.
A win however is a win and these could will be vital points before the end of the season for the Bannsiders.
Stephen Hutchinson's side were then scheduled to entertain Brigade yesterday afternoon and while that represents a different level of challenge, the north coast outfit now look well set to compete for a place in the top half of the table.
In the Championship, 112 from Andre Henry and 96 by William Finlay helped Killyclooney to a maximum points win over Newbuildings.
Fox Lodge thumped St Johnston by 9 wickets with skipper Aaron Heywood claiming three wickets and Brian Allen hitting an undefeated half century.
Burndennett's excellent season continued as they were emphatic seven wicket victors over Bonds Glen, with Ross McCay and Mark Snodgrass picking up three wickets each as the Bee Gees were skittled for just 64. Mark Doherty scoring 31 not out in a comfortable win.
At Sandel Lodge, Coleraine (21pts) beat Strabane (4pts) by 2 wickets
Strabane 158/9 (50 overs; A Gillespie 41, P Gillespie 20; V Chopra 2-15, G Hume 2-18, R Chopra 2-34)
Coleraine 159/8 (48.2 overs; G Hume 65*, R Chopra 24; K Purewal Singh 2-21)
At Beechgrove Brigade (24pts) beat Ballyspallen (1pt) by 94 runs
Brigade 208 (46.3 overs; A Britton 58, K Magee 22, R Gaur 20, J Robinson 20; M Averill 3-38, S McCloskey 2-28)
Ballyspallen 114 (39.3 overs; G Kennedy 64, A McDaid 28; A Britton 3-18, J Robinson 2-14, R Allen 2-14, I Hussain 2-37)
At Eglinton, Eglinton (23pts) beat Donemana (2pts) by 5 wickets
Donemana 147 (44.1 overs; B Iqbal 48*, W McClintock 30, R McBrine 23; S Dunn 3-29, M Erlank 2-19, A Millar 2-23, M Mills 2-34)
Eglinton 149/5 (40.4 overs; A Millar 39, J Martin 33, T Orr 22, M Erlank 20; B Iqbal 3-20)
At Magheramason, Bready (24pts) beat Glendermott (1pts) by 84 runs
Bready 248/8 (50 overs; I Samarasooriya 87, D Rankin 54, M Poskitt 29; K Wijerathne 4-27)
Glendermott 164 (47.2 overs; K Wijerathne 71; D Scanlon 4-19, I Samarasooriya 2-14, C Olphert 2-36)
At FoyleView, Newbuildings (0pts) lost to Killyclooney (25pts) by 101 runs
Killyclooney 340/7 (50 overs; A Henry 112. W Finlay 96*, D Moan 44, J Connor 38*, G Moan 21; T Riddles 3-36, T Killen 2-36, J Dunn 2-40)
Newbuildings 239 (41.4 overs; D McCallum 69, M Hanna 54, J Dunn 41; G Moan 4-45, J Connor 3-42)
At Ballymagorry, Fox Lodge (25 pts) beat St Johnston (0pts) by 9 wickets
St Johnston 92 (36.1 overs; M Rankin 21; A Heywood 3-19, A Doherty 2-12, J Milligan 2-15)
Fox Lodge 97/1 (22.3 overs; B Allen 57*)
At Bonds Glen, Bonds Glen (1pt) lost to Burndennett (24pts) by 7 wickets
Bonds Glen 64 (26.2 overs; R McCay 3-13, M Snodgrass 3-23, S McCay 2-10, M Roulston 2-16)
Burndennett 65/3 (16.4 overs; M Doherty 31*; M Barr 2-14)