It was all about the first round of the North-West Ladies Cup this past Monday night as Fox Lodge, Burndennett and Killyclooney progressed into the Semi Finals.

At Ballymagorry, the first game saw Fox Lodge claim a massive 9-wicket victory over local counterparts Strabane Saints.

in the beginning of the game it didn’t go as planned for Strabane by losing their opening two batswomen Una Patton (1) and Hazel Magee (10) in the fourth over, which wasn’t ideal and with the total just at 20 the Saints needing to push the runs.

Next in was Anji McPorter (36*) and Megan Moorehead (4), the pair didn’t waste any time by steering the total to 42 off 10 overs.

With a change in the bowling from Mollie Devine (2-7), the visitors lost the key wicket of Moorehead in the 13th over.

Things seemed to steady up for the saints’ as when Denise McDonald (5) was next into the crease she then assisted McPorter to push the total to 75.

With overs running out and in desperate need for additional runs Strabane seemed under pressure as McDonald was then run out in the next over along with the next batswomen Emma Doherty (12) who also was run out.
In the last stretch the visitors made it to a final total of 86 off 20 overs.

Fox Lodge’s top order have always been consistent with the bat this summer and they didn't disappoint with their response either as with an outstanding 80 run stand between Emma Allen (40*) and Sarah Black (2) pushed the total to 40 off the opening 5 overs

Once Black dismissed in the 14th over due to the accurate bowling from Megan Moorehead (22-1) She was then followed in by Mollie Devine (33*) as the Foxies found themselves in a comfortable position.

Nothing seemed to be able to stop Allen and Devine as the pair chased down the final runs in just 14 overs allowing them to pick up yet another victory and advance onto the next round.

Burndennett also booked their place into the 2019 ladies semi final due as they proved to be too strong for Eglinton.

Bating first, Julie Logue was the star of the show as she dominated the runs with an impressive unbeaten knock of 89 and with Kylie McGarrigle (17) supporting her at the other end helped steer the total to just 50 in 5 overs.

With the strong opening partnership things looked idyllic for the ‘Dennet but it wasn’t until Megan McClintock displayed quick fielding to run out McGarrigle in the 8th over breaking up the solid opening partnership and leaving the total at 65 for 1.

Kacey Laird (10) was next in to bat and changes to the bowling from the pavilion end from Kenya McCartney (1-13) seemed to take Laird by surprise as she was then dismissed in the 15th over.

The total now sitting at 102 and five overs remaining Logue made sure to achieve as many runs as she hit 6 fours and 1 six in the last overs that allowed Burndennett to finish on a mighty total of 141.

In reply Eglinton got off to a sturdy start as Megan McClintock (10) and Zara Craig (30) got the total to 40 in 6 overs.

Julie Logue (4-13) wasted no time with the ball by picking up the crucial wicket of McClintock in the third over and then also the wicket of Craig followed just two balls after.

Laura McFarland (25) and Arianne McKenna (10) were the next ladies into bat and kept the runs on the board as the pair got the total to 87 in 14 overs.

With a tactical change of bowling from Leanne Brandon (2-16) seemed to change the course of the game as she bowled McFarland and McKenna in the 15th over.

Eglinton fought hard till the end but nothing could stop the mighty bowling performances from Logue and Brandon as they bowled out the ‘Ton for just 94 runs allowing them to pick up yet another victory.

In the final game favorites Bready travelled to face Killyclooney which was sure to be an interesting battle.
Winning the toss and electing to bat first, the Bready army displayed a first-class batting performance from Alana Dalzell (30) and Amy Campbell (49) sailed the total to 66 off 8 overs.

Being tactical to prevent any more runs going on the board skipper Jessica McDonald changed up the bowling formation with Gail Nelson (2-20) now with the ball and picking up the vital wicket of Dalzell in the twelfth over that put a dent on the growing partnership alongside Campbell.

Joining Campbell at the crease, it now was the task of Jemma Rankin (13) to help gain as many runs in the remaining eight overs.

With a change of bowling from Linzi Rodgers (1-19) causing the casualty of Rankin in the next over.
Nicole Faulkner (1*) then was next in who assisted Campbell to post a distinguished total of 105.
In response things did not get off to a good start for the Clooney as they lost two of the opening batswomen due to the precise bowling from Alana Dalzell (2-7).

A 50-run stand between Codi Wallace (17) and Charlene Dougherty (21) steadied things up with the total now at 65 off 14 overs.

With only 41 runs remaining off 6 overs it now was anyone’s game but with a change of bowling from Steph Wilkinson (2-15) caused destruction as she bowled both Wallace and Dougherty in the 15th over.

With the overs ruining fine and pressure mounting it now was up to Rachel McBrine (13*) and Jacqueline Hall (15) to chase the remaining runs.

Vee Buchanan (1-11) caused the casualty of Hall in the next over which was a crucial wicket to pick up at this stage with the total now at 85 and four overs remaining it still was anyone’s game.

Joining McBrine at the crease was Gail Nelson (8*) it was now the task of these two to get the final 21 runs.
The pair took it right down to the final over as Killyclooney required 6 runs off 6 balls, at this stage the atmosphere across the ground was tense.

With a four hit by McBrine in the fourth ball and by gaining one more run in the fifth ball. It now was on the shoulders to Nelson to hit the final run with just one ball remaining.

Finding a gap in covers Nelson hit the final run to allow Killyclooney to be victorious and to progress onto the semifinals.
Speaking aftrewards Killyclooney skipper Jessica McDonald said;
‘’I am thrilled to be going through to the semi finals of the ladies cup, we are all on a high after that thrilling end to the game.

All my girls were on edge during that last over it was like the England v New Zealand game.

I would like to thank Bready for an excellent game of cricket tonight and also a big thanks to my team for displaying an excellent performance.
We look forward to face whoever we are drew in the next round.’’

The four teams in the semi final are;
Burndennett
Fox Lodge
Killyclooney
Newbuildings (Bye in first round)

The Draw for the Semi Final will be announced in due course.