Brigade and Glendermott reach Senior Cup final
There's just an old tin fence between this season's North West Senior Cup finalists after Glendermott and Brigade booked their places at Eglinton following Sunday's semi-finals.
Big crowds and glorious weather provided the perfect backdrop for the last-four clashes, albeit in the end, both were won in comfortable fashion.
Brigade were expected to win handsomely at Championship side Ardmore and while they did in the end, the runaway Premiership leaders certainly didn"t get things all their own way. Indeed it took an unbroken 76-run stand between Kyle Magee and David Murdock to finally get the competition favourites over the line after the hosts had resisted doggedly.
The home side made 193 as they batted first with a Ciaran Curley half century the best of it. Ryan Brolly chipped in with 30 and Peter Harrigan 25 while Johnny Thompson (3-42) and Iftikhar Hussain (2-8 from 10 overs) were best with the ball.
David Barr continued his excellent run of form as he made 50 at the top of the visitors' order but it was Magee with 72* who was the thorn in Ardmore's side for the second successive season in this competition.
Murdock's 41 (2 fours and 4 sixes) moved things along quickly when the tempo needed to rise as this pair eased their side into next month's decider.
At the Rectory, a blistering start from the home side's bowlers changed the dynamic of this semi-final from a very early stage.
A pacy opening burst from Keshan Wijerathne had Ballyspallen in all sorts of trouble early on with only 9 runs on the board and 4 wickets down.
Jamie Millar's 29 and 18 from Graham Kennedy in the middle order helped to stabilise things for a while, however a couple of wickets apiece for Reece Laird and Alan Johnson turned things back Glendermott's way very quickly.
Overseas man Wijerathne finished with figures of 4 for 19 as the visitors were bowled out for 93 and in front of a decent home crowd that target was never going to trouble the Bond Street side.
An opening stand between Bob Robinson (46) and Gordon Montgomery (24) broke the back of the chase before
Jason Lynch (19) finished the job.
Millar picked up two wickets to add to his earlier runs but it was all in vain as Adam McDaid's men simply never recovered from that devastating start.