The 1974 North West senior cup final was a true David and Goliath affair.
In one corner we had a Donemana side (pictured below) that had won ten senior trophies in the previous 15 years and were going for the league and cup double that season.
In the other was a Waterside team that plied it's trade in the old 'Section B' and hadn't appeared in a cup final since losing to Brigade in 1930.
The Tyrone outfit boasted a host of top players and you would have got very short odds indeed on them proving too strong for their opponents. And yet despite Donemana's seeming insurmountable adavange, Waterside looked to have a puncher's chance after defying all the odds to make it to the decider.
Mickey Doherty's team (pictured below) were drawn away to a strong Sion Mills outfit in the 1st round; the tie taking place on 15 June. I know that because it was the day after my grandmother passed away and neither my father, who was the opening batsman, nor myself made the trip.
The Corrody side had been reduced to 25-7 early in the game. It wasn't that unusual back then for lower order batsmen to venture to 'the shop' early in the innings if they were batting first and with his team in trouble, the Waterside captain had to send to the village for Brendan Smith and Keith Moore. As it happened, both men had missed the shop and accidentally landed in Marshall's Bar, but the couple of magic potions that they had, did the trick.
The pair shared a 9th wicket stand of 88 runs that saw the visitors post 145 all out. Doherty, Moore, Davy Watson, and Brendan Quinn combined with the ball to stun the home side in reply.
And so to the final itself, the first to be played at Eglinton in some time after regular hosts Brigade required urgent repair work at their ground. The underdogs had a selection problem ahead of the game as Smith, who was also wicketkeeper, left for Spain on pre-arranged holiday 3 days before the final.
Their woes increased dramatically on the first morning when Jay Curry won the toss and opted to bat first. Waterside struck early through Davy Watson before Harry Waterstone dropped Ken Kerrigan in the next over which could maybe have made things interesting had it stuck. Donemana recovered and all their batsmen got among the runs- Roy McBrime top scoring with 55 with the late Ken Kerrigan making 36.
The lower order upped the ante too- typified by Davy Caldwell making 24 off the last five balls of the innings as several dropped catches cost the fielding side. The final total was 254- fielding skipper Doherty keeping the damage from being worse as he claimed 5-71.
Waterside lost Jim McCormick and Terry McCloskey early in the reply before a third wicket stand between Brendan Quinn (41) and Lawrence senior (39) gave them hope of avoiding the follow-on.
Once those two were out in quick succession however, the wheels came off and Waterside were bowled out for 141 as Boyd Curry claimed 4-38.
When the game resumed, the second division side faced an impossible task, 113 runs adrift and following on. Donemana wasted little time in closing out an emphatic win as Dougie Huey posted figures of 4-11 with the batting side all out for just 44, second time around.
Losing by an innings and 69 runs may have been a chastening experience for the Watersde lads, but even allowing for that it was a weekend that none of us ever forgot.
1974 NW Senior Cup Final
At Eglinton, Donemana beat Waterside by an innings and 69 runs
Donemana 254 (R McBrine 55, K Kerrigan 36; M Doherty 5-71)
Waterside 141 (B Quinn 41, L Moore 39; B Curry 4-38) and 44 (D Huey 4-11)
Donemana: J Curry (capt), K Kerrigan, B Curry, D Huey, I Dougherty, R McBrine, A Deans, A Dunn, S Cooke, DW Caldwell, D Caldwell.
Waterside: M Doherty (capt), T McCloskey, J McCormick, H Waterstone, B Quinn, L Bradley, S Marshall, L Moore, K Moore, R Kelly, D Watson.