NORTH Down bounced back from the disappointment of their Challenge Cup exit on Saturday to reach the second round of the Irish Senior Cup with a four wickets victory over Donemana at The Green.
South African professional Ruhan Pretorius produced a man of the match performance, taking four wickets as the North West side were bowled out for 168 and then hit an undefeated 92 to see his side home with more than seven overs to spare.
Pretorius hit nine fours and a six in his 96-ball innings and remained the cool head as wickets fell at the other end but the real damage had been done in the first innings as he and Craig Young hurried the Donemana innings to a quick conclusion, the last five wickets falling for 14 runs with almost nine overs unused.
Missing Graham Boyd and Dwayne McGerrigle from their batting line-up, Donemana were reliant on Ireland international and North West Warriors skipper Andy McBrine to perform a rescue act after they lost their first three wickets for 29 runs.
He batted for 28 overs, scoring 58 before Pretorius tempted him into a loose shot, straight to mid-off. Levi Dougherty was yorked two balls later and then Young also took two wickets in three balls, the first to a stunning Ben Stokes-replica catch on the square leg boundary to dismiss Ritchie McBrine.
Donemana professional Bilawal Iqbal was the last man out, bowled by Pretorius and because they were bowled out 40 minutes before the scheduled tea interval, North Down had to bat immediately, without absent openers Daniel Graham and Nathan Burns, and ‘waste’ eight overs when they also lost AJ Moor, caught on the boundary off a full toss from Iqbal.
Junior McBrine, forced into action because of the list of absentees in the Donemana side rolled back the years with a superb slip catch off son Willie, to dismiss Stuart Nelson but Pretorius would not be moved and North Down will be at home to Civil Service North in the next round on Sunday week.
For Donemana, it was a second defeat in two days, their under-strength side losing by five wickets to Eglinton and yesterday they fell 24 points behind new leaders Brigade, who followed up their 94 runs win over Ballyspallen with a seven wickets victory against Coleraine.
It was a reversal of fortunes for Eglinton, however, yesterday, who travelled south and crashed out of the Irish Senior Cup to Phoenix.
The north Dubliners, still without James Shannon, piled up 382-5 and bowled out their visitors in the 32nd over to set up an away date with Bready in the second round.