CUPS OF WOE FOR TYRONE SIDES

It wasn’t a Super Sunday for Tyrone sides involved in the Irish Senior and NW Senior Cups with Bready, Strabane, and Donemana all bowing out of the respective competitions.

Centuries from David Barr and Kyle Magee saw holders Brigade make a formidable 330 – Andy McBrine’s hat-trick coming too late to make a meaningful impact. The Holm side reply had reached 40 for 1 in 11 overs when the rain saw the game abandoned, with the Beechgrove side ahead on DLS. Surely 11 overs shouldn’t be enough to decide a cup tie unless at the final attempt? One to debate over the winter months.

Strabane’s trip to Dublin looked as if it would be a successful one as they dismissed the Rathmines side for 121, with Ryan Gallagher and Tommy Barr doing the damage. Despite a poor start to their reply, Aaron Gillespie’s 45 took them to 70 for 3, before the wheels came off, losing their last seven wickets for just 35 runs to exit the competition.

That completed a miserable weekend for the Red Caps, as they lost the Tyrone derby at home to Donemana by six wickets, after another poor batting effort saw them make just 125. Ryan Gallagher’s three early wickets offered hope, but two dropped catches at a crucial stage allowed Donemana to seal a six-wicket win and keep in the slipstream behind Brigade.

There’s a chance for Strabane to get back on the horse this Sunday, as they take on Ballyspallen in their rearranged cup quarter-final. They are without Aaron Gillespie, but that is balanced out by the hosts not having Graham Kennedy – both on T20 duty in Dublin.

Bready enjoyed mixed fortunes too, losing out to Phoenix after they managed just 156, with Irosh Samarasooriya scoring 48. The Dubliners raced to an eight wicket win as Bready barely laid a glove on them.

It was much better 24 hours earlier, when despite missing four regulars they fought back to defend just 111, of which Jamie Magee made 56. A super bowling effort spearheaded by skipper David Scanlon and complimented by Gregory McFaul gained the points which keep the defending champions very much in the hunt, quietly going about their business in third place with a game in hand.

FOXIES ON FIRE

It’s been a good week for Fox Lodge who after a quiet start to the season really got their campaign up and running with an emphatic win over Killyclooney in the league. They followed that up with an excellent hard-fought win in the National Cup, as they just edged out Ballymena by eight runs at Eaton Park.

Central to both successes was all-rounder Jason Milligan who took six wickets in the win at Killyclooney, which along with Brian Allen’s hundred sealed a full-points win. Milligan then was in the runs in the win at Ballymena, with his unbeaten 118 and four wickets for Aaron Heywood clinching their place in the last eight.

“That was my 7th senior century on Sunday yesterday, and my bowling figures were my best by a good bit too,” said Milligan. “Obviously to go away to Killyclooney is never going to be an easy game as they have a really solid side. We were prepared for a difficult game but we played some of our best cricket and a outstanding 100 from Brian really got us to a total that was always going be difficult to chase.

“Thankfully we bowled as well as we batted and were able to get all 25 points that was available. Sunday was another great team effort, and once again it’s always nice to get another 100 to help the team. It’s even better when we got the win and into the quarter finals now we go.

“Looking ahead there are a few big games coming up but we are ready for the challenges and we’ll see where that takes us.”

A crucial promotion clash looms large this weekend as they face fellow promotion hopefuls Ardmore – the Bleachgreen side playing catch up after losing their first league game at the weekend.

BURNDENNETT STAY TOP

Burndennett’s win at Ardmore keeps their promotion hopes very much on track as they stay ahead of the chasing pack. Central to their success has been new overseas star, Pakistani all-rounder Salman Ahmed. He has hit the ground running and has been a consistently heavy run scorer in their rise to the top.

He scored an excellent unbeaten hundred in what could prove to be a season defining victory at Ardmore. Ahmed hit an unbeaten 115 from 114 balls which included 18 fours and 3 sixes – the last of which edged the Tyrone side in front just before the rain got too heavy and forced the players from the field.

Ahmed now has scored 496 runs at an average of just over 82, as well as taking nine wickets. If he can continue his prolific run scoring, then there could be silverware for Burndennett to celebrate.

NATIONAL CUP QUARTER-FINAL DRAW

The draw was made in Dublin for the last eight of the National Cup and Fox Lodge’s reward for beating Ballymena is a home tie against Leinster side Terenure. The Dubliners beat Downpatrick and reached the final in 2017, so will be tough opponents for the Ballymagorry side. The other NW side still involved are Ardmore, who beat Killyclooney by 30 runs (DLS), with Decker Curry making 92 not out– just missing out on his 100th hundred, as the rain came with him within two blows of the magical landmark. Ardmore play Balbriggan in the last eight with the ties scheduled for Sunday July 14th.

WARRIORS WOES

There are no Premiership matches this Saturday due to the Warriors involvement in the T20 Festival in Dublin. Their squad for the three-day event at Pembroke is yet to be announced, but is expected to be at more or less full-strength, apart from injured keeper Andrew Austin. The NW are involved in an ongoing battle to salvage something from their Championship clash with Leinster Lightning at Bready after being skittled for just 135. The game was badly affected by the weather with the first four sessions wiped out.

NORTH WEST UNDER 15’S

The NW Under 15 side start their interprovincial series this Sunday when they face their NCU counterparts. Action at Ballymagorry gets under way at 12 o’clock.

WEEKEND FIXTURES - T20 PREMIERSHIP
Donemana v Strabane (Fri 6.30pm)
Brigade v Glendermott (Fri 6.30pm)
Coleraine v Strabane (Sat 12pm)
Ballyspallen v Bready (Sat 12pm)
Coleraine v Brigade (Sat 4pm)
Ballyspallen v Eglinton (Sat 4pm)

T20 CHAMPIONSHIP (Fri 6.30pm)
Ardmore v Burndennett
St Johnston v Newbuildings
Killyclooney v Fox Lodge

NW SENIOR CUP (Sun 1pm)
Ardmore v Eglinton
Ballyspallen v Strabane

NW CHAMPIONSHIP (Sat 1pm)
Fox Lodge v Ardmore
Burndennett v Newbuildings
Bonds Glen v St Johnston
Bonds Glen v Fox Lodge (Sun 1pm)

QUALIFYING ONE CUP
Eglinton II v Ardmore II
Bready II v Bonds Glen II
Brigade II v Donemana II

QUALIFYING TWO
Strabane II v Ballyspallen II
St Johnston II v Sion Mills
Gendermott II v Coleraine II
Killyclooney II v Maghera
Bready III v Newbuildings II
Strabane II v Bready III (Sun)
Newbuildings II v Coleraine II (Sun)
Ballyspallen II v St Johnston II (Sun)

QUALIFYING THREE
Ardmore III v Eglinton III
Donemana III v Bready IV

WOMEN'S LEAGUE
Burndennett v Killyclooney
Strabane v Eglinton
Fox Lodge v Bready