Coleraine get lifeline while Ardmore leapfrog Burndennett
Postponements were the order of the day in the leagues on Saturday with only a couple of games completed following heavy overnight rain.
The Premiership match between Eglinton and Glendermott was called off on Friday night following the death of former Eglinton player Oliver Thompson, while the matches between Donemana and Brigade, and Ballyspallen v Strabane fell victim to the weather.
The only match played to a conclusion in the Premiership had plenty at stake for the hosts at least, as bottom of the table Coleraine entertained reigning champions Bready. The Bannsiders had just one league win to their name from their previous 11 outings and badly needed a win in their bid to avoid automatic relegation with games running out.
Bready haven't been near their best themselves in the back half of the season, suggesting they could be vulnerable at the minute, and Coleraine seized their opportunity in style to throw the relegation scrap right back open again.
Batting first, the Sandel Lodge outfit were in customary early trouble as an excellent opening burst from Conor Olphert saw them reduced to 44-5. Dominic Madden with 24 fared best of the top order, however it is no secret that you're never through Coleraine until you get Graham Hume.
Despite Olphert's heroics (6-24) Bready couldn't get Hume and the South African started to make them pay. He put on a 62-run stand for the 6th wicket with skipper Stephen Hutchinson and then another worth 44 for the 9th wicket with Brian Acheson (14).
Those two partnerships helped the Bannsiders to a total of 180-9 from their 50 overs- Hume unbeaten on 86 (6 fours, 3 sixes) to give his side something meaningful to defend.
Gregory McFaul (2-30) provided solid support to the excellent Olphert, but it was to be with the bat that Bready really let themselves down.
In the face of some brilliant seam bowling from Hume and Hutchinson, the visitors wilted. Irosh Samarasooriya survived an early scare to try to hold the reply together, but him apart this was a pretty embarrasing effort from the champions.
Samarasooriya hit 5 sixes and a four as he made 46 but the next highest score after that was 3.
Bready closed on 67 all out, one run more than they managed at Eglinton a couple of weeks ago, as Coleraine picked up the maximum 25 points to set the cat among the pigeons at the bottom of the table.
Hume bowled superbly to add figures of 3-5 to his match-winning knock while Hutchinson (3-16) and Rishi Chopra (3-32) contributed to a massive result for the hosts.
It all looks very congested in the lower half of the Premier Division table, and the race to replace whoever is to be relegated this season also took a turn on Saturday as Ardmore ended Burndennett's unbeaten run.
This one was badly affected by rain as 'Dennett batted first with the game initially reduced to 45 overs a side. The hosts lost a couple of early wickets before their overseas man Salman Ahmed put his mark on the contest.
The Indian all-rounder hit 86 (9 fours, 4 sixes), sharing in partnerships with Andy Barr (32) and Eddie McGettigan (26) that saw the batting side reach a promising 152-3.
After that however it was the bowlers' turn to squeeze with Conor Brolly (3-33) and Gary Neely (2-6) reigning the hosts back in. Skipper Mark Mooney (19) was the only scorer of any note after that before the rains came again with Burndennett 197-9 after 41 overs.
A lengthy delay saw Ardmore set a winning DLS target of 166 in 30 overs and Peet Pienaar's 44 (5 fours), together with Ryan Brolly's 41 gave them a decent platform, before Mark Snodgrass (2-22) helped Mooney's side fight back
Jarred Wilson wasn't waiting for any more rain as he belted 5 sixes - including four in succession to win the game - in his 18-ball 36 not out as he and Ciaran Curley home to a vital 5-wicket win.
The race is far from run as Ardmore now lead the table by 8 points with 2 games each to play, however automatic promotion is definitely now Ardmore's to lose.
In the day's only other game, Newbuildings beat St Johnston by 17 runs (160 to 143) in a match that looked to have a real end-of-season feel about it.