A half century from Peter Gillespie and a five-wicket haul for Chathura Peiris ensured Strabane maintained their Premiership status with a 93-run win over Burndennett in the play-off at Bready.

Gillespie, playing his final senior match of his career, was the glue that held the Red Caps' innings together in a tense battle in the first innings.

A steady start by Strabane saw Rhys Logue make 29, and double figure contributions from Kevin Gallagher (11), while Aaron Gillespie and Chathura Peiris both hit 18.

However three wickets in quick succession from left-arm spinner Aaron McDermott looked to be turning the tide in Burndennett's favour as they attempted to reach the Premiership for the first time.

However Gillespie steadied the ship with a sixth wicket partnership of 57 with skipper Tommy Barr (16).

He struck six fours in his unbeaten 61 which allowed Strabane to post 177 for 9 in their 50 overs. Not a huge total, but given the difficult conditions and the prize at stake it allowed Strabane to build pressure on their Championship opponents.

The Burndennett reply started watchfully as they reached 37 for 1 - Mark Pollock (9) the only wicket to fall.

Much hinged on the performance of the 'Dennett overseas professional Salman Ahmed and when he was dismissed by the teenage combination of Tom Harpur and Conor Graham, the blow took the wind out of their sails.

Harpur removed Mark Doherty (15) soon after, and despite a few lusty blows from Andy Barr (23) which offered hope, the return of Chathura Peiris soon hastened the end.

The Sri Lankan left-arm speedster took five wickets as his blitz saw Burndennett collapse from 69 for 3 to 84 all out, losing seven wickets for just 15 runs.

The victory ensures another top flight campaign for Strabane, while Burndennett's wait for top flight cricket remains elusive.

The final fixture of the NW season takes place at Burndennett on Sunday when St Johnston and Grove Hill meet in the final of the Derry Midweek Cup - the action gets under way at 1pm.

NW PREMIERSHIP PLAY-OFF
At Magheramason, Strabane beat Burndennett by 93 runs
Strabane

K Gallagher lbw b Snodgrass 11
R Logue c Roulston b McDermott 29
A Gillespie lbw b Roulston 18
C Peiris c Barr b McDermott 18
R Gallagher c Barr b McDermott 0
P Gillespie not out 61
T Barr c Barr b Pollock 16
V Moorthy c Mooney b Ahmed 4
T Harpur c Mooney b Snodgrass 0
M McNulty c McCay b Snodgrass 0
C Graham not out 1
Extras 19
Total (9 wkts, 50 overs) 177

Fall: 1-16 2-58 3-86 4-86 5-88 6145 7-154 8-157 9-157

Bowling: M Snodgrass 9-0-53-3; R McCay 10-4-24-0; M Roulston 10-2-16-1;
A McDermott 10-2-29-3; S Ahmed 8-3-23-1; M Pollock 3-0-19-1.

Burndennett
M Doherty c P Gillespie b Harpur 15
M Pollock lbw b A Gillespie 9
S Ahmed c Graham b Harpur 13
A Barr b Peiris 23
E McGettigan c K Gallagher b Logue 0
M Roulston b Peiris 1
R McCay c Graham b Peiris 1
M Mooney lbw b Peiris 0
C Pollock not out 7
M Snodgrass b Peiris 1
A McDermott c R Gallagher b Logue 4
Extras 10
Total (all out, 27.4 overs) 84

Fall: 1-18 2-37 3-44 4-69 5-69 6-71 7-71 8-77 9-79 10-84

Bowling: C Peiris 8-4-12-5; R Gallagher 3-0-10-0; T Harpur 7-1-28-2;
A Gillespie 6-0-17-1; R Logue 3.4-0-10-2.