It's a short trip back to 2017 for our next senior cup final memory as Donemana and Ballyspallen locked horns at Beechgrove.

'Spallen seemed to get caught in the crossfire of our series of 'throwbacks' as their only two cup final appearances have both made the cut.

The irony of this one is that hosts Brigade had themselves been stunned by the Bridge Park outfit in the first round that season.

Their first attempt had been a complete washout and when a torrential downpour ended any chance of a result in the replay, 'Spallen clinched a shock 1-0 win in the subsequent bowl-out. That led to changes to the rules in 2018 which now means that there's a third T20 replay available in cup games, although that wasn't much help to Brigade at the time.

Donemana also went through in a bowl-out that day- winning 3-1 at Eglinton to continue their unbelievable run in the competition. Not since they lost the 2011 final to Bready had the Holm side been beaten in the senior cup.

In yet another ironic twist, exactly 100 years before that defeat, the now defunct Clooney CC were recording their sixth successive cup win- a record which still stood to that day.

No club had ever come close to repeating that feat- Strabane, Sion Mills and City of Derry with three consecutive wins each faring best in the intervening years.

Now, however, Donemana were on the verge of making it a straight six themselves, and few were betting against them. Ricky-Lee Dougherty's men went on to beat Coleraine, courtesy of a century from William McClintock and then Bready in the semi-final with a 'ton' from overseas man Imran Butt.

'Spallen were equally impressive as they edged past Strabane and then thumped Fox Lodge in the next two rounds as they became the first team to reach two senior finals whilst playing in Division 2.

The decider itself was the first played at the Limavady Road venue in almost 20 years. 'Spallen were right up against it, especially given that their key man, Graham Kennedy, was to miss the game as he was on Under-19 World Cup qualifying duty with Ireland that week.

Skipper Lee Ritchie surprised everyone by putting the holders in to bat when he won the toss, but it looked a decent call as Donemana were reduced to 71-5 midway through their first innings.

The Tyrone side's resilience has never been in doubt however and a century stand between skipper Dougherty and Andrew Riddles turned the match back their way. In the end they posted 226-8 after the first 50 overs, no bad effort from Ritchie's men.

Ballyspallen started their reply brightly with Stephen Kennedy and Craig Averill getting them to 50-1 before Donemana turned to the slow stuff. Four wickets for Jordan McGonigle and three for Junior McBrine pulled the rug from under the Championship team who were finally all out for 129.

A lead of 97 meant the improbable was now nearly impossible. Butt top scored in the second innings with 69 as the cup holders added another 237, leaving 'Spallen wanting a water into wine 335 to win it.

 

They promoted Darnell McCallum to join Kennedy at the top of the order and to be fair, these two gave it a real go, putting on 60 for the first wicket.

From then on however, it became the Junior McBrine (pictured above) show as the former Ireland International ripped through the order for stunning figures of 7-13.

It was a sensational effort from the 53- year old who up to that point had been playing his cricket mostly in the Second XI and who was in the side mainly because his son Andy was also on International duty.

'Spallen's 10 wickets fell for the addition of just 41 more runs after that breezy start; the cup returning to the Holm for that record-equalling sixth time by a margin of 233 runs.

The final numbers were a bit harsh on the Roe Valley outfit who had actually competed really well over the two days.

Their supporters certainly enjoyed the occasion and there was no shame in the defeat.

Donemana celebrated their win in time honoured fashion, but before they had even left the lush green turf of Beechgrove, skipper Dougherty (pictured below) gave an interview where he made no secret of the fact that the sights were now on a record-breaking seven-in-a-row.

And that's a whole different story...

2017 NW SENIOR CUP FINAL

Donemana 1st XI Vs Ballyspallen 1st XI
2-Innings Match Played At Beechgrove, 27-Jul-2017, Senior Cup
Donemana 1st XI Win Outright by 233 runs

Round F
Toss won by Ballyspallen 1st XI
Umpires C McElwee - R Doherty - S Sankar
Scorers L Kerrigan
Home Side (neutral)

Donemana 1st XI 1st Innings 226/8 Closed (Overs 50)

Batsman Fieldsman Bowler Runs Bls 4s 6s
I Butt c I Hill-Nicholl b L Ritchie 12 14 1 0
Jamie Huey c D McCallum b J Martin 8 38 1 0
G McClintock run out L Ritchie/J Martin   20 37 2 1
K Dougherty   b S McCloskey 19 26 2 0
W McClintock st D McCallum b J Martin 4 8 1 0
A Riddles   b M Averill 47 63 6 0
R-Lee Dougherty*+ c S Kennedy b M Averill 63 88 6 1
D McGerrigle c S Kennedy b S McCloskey 27 14 3 2
Jun McBrine not out   8 10 1 0
W McBrine not out   4 4 0 0
J McGonigle dnb          
extras   (b1 lb2 w9 nb2) 14      
TOTAL   8 wickets for 226      
FOW
1-16(I Butt) 2-36(Jamie Huey) 3-63(G McClintock) 4-71(W McClintock)
5-71(K Dougherty) 6-175(A Riddles) 7-212(D McGerrigle) 8-217(R-Lee Dougherty)
Bowler Overs Maid Runs Wkts wd nb
M Averill 10 3 56 2 1 1
L Ritchie 5 2 17 1 1 1
J Martin 10 0 64 2 4 -
S McCloskey 10 2 35 2 1 -
S Kennedy 8 1 29 0 1 -
J Thompson 4 1 12 0 1 -
C Averill 3 0 10 0 - -

Ballyspallen 1st XI 1st Innings 129/10 All Out (Overs 42.2)

Batsman Fieldsman Bowler Runs Bls 4s 6s
S Kennedy c R-Lee Dougherty b D McGerrigle 26 56 4 0
I Crown c A Riddles b W McBrine 2 15 0 0
C Averill st R-Lee Dougherty b D McGerrigle 20 44 3 0
J Thompson lbw b J McGonigle 8 29 1 0
M Averill st R-Lee Dougherty b J McGonigle 32 48 4 1
D McCallum+ lbw b J McGonigle 1 9 0 0
I Hill-Nicholl c D McGerrigle b Jun McBrine 24 24 4 0
M McCann lbw b Jun McBrine 0 1 0 0
L Ritchie* lbw b J McGonigle 1 13 0 0
S McCloskey c G McClintock b Jun McBrine 2 5 0 0
J Martin not out   0 10 0 0
extras   (b0 lb0 w13 nb0) 13      
TOTAL   10 wickets for 129      
FOW
1-22(S Kennedy) 2-50(S Kennedy) 3-62(C Averill) 4-64(J Thompson) 5-70(D McCallum)
6-111(I Hill-Nicholl) 7-111(M McCann) 8-125(L Ritchie) 9-128(S McCloskey)
10-129(M Averill)
Bowler Overs Maid Runs Wkts wd nb
W McClintock 4 1 19 0 4 -
W McBrine 6 2 11 1 - -
G McClintock 4 1 16 0 2 -
Jun McBrine 10 0 22 3 2 -
D McGerrigle 10 2 40 2 - -
J McGonigle 8.2 2 21 4 1 -

Donemana 1st XI 2nd Innings 237/10 All Out (Overs 49.5)

Batsman Fieldsman Bowler Runs Bls 4s 6s
I Butt c S Kennedy b M Averill 69 81 10 1
Jamie Huey c L Ritchie b S McCloskey 11 25 2 0
G McClintock c D McCallum b M Averill 42 63 4 1
W McClintock   b M Averill 20 19 1 2
R-Lee Dougherty*+ lbw b S McCloskey 17 28 2 0
A Riddles run out M McCann/M Averill   3 8 0 0
K Dougherty   b M Averill 0 5 0 0
D McGerrigle   b J Thompson 22 29 1 1
Jun McBrine c M McCann b J Martin 20 27 3 0
W McBrine not out   13 11 2 0
J McGonigle c L Ritchie b J Martin 2 3 0 0
extras   (b0 lb3 w15 nb0) 18      
TOTAL   10 wickets for 237      
FOW
1-35(Jamie Huey) 2-129(I Butt) 3-131(G McClintock) 4-160(W McClintock)
5-170(A Riddles) 6-170(K Dougherty) 7-173(R-Lee Dougherty) 8-210(D McGerrigle)
9-232(Jun McBrine) 10-237(J McGonigle)
Bowler Overs Maid Runs Wkts wd nb
M Averill 10 1 34 4 5 -
L Ritchie 10 0 44 0 - -
S McCloskey 10 0 38 2 - -
J Martin 4.5 0 23 2 3 -
S Kennedy 6 0 31 0 1 -
J Thompson 6 0 39 1 6 -
C Averill 3 0 25 0 - -

Ballyspallen 1st XI 2nd Innings 101/10 All Out (Overs 25.2)

Batsman Fieldsman Bowler Runs Bls 4s 6s
S Kennedy   c&b Jun McBrine 36 39 4 1
D McCallum+ c A Riddles b W McBrine 27 32 4 1
C Averill c I Butt b Jun McBrine 0 6 0 0
M Averill c R-Lee Dougherty b J McGonigle 11 20 0 0
J Thompson c R-Lee Dougherty b Jun McBrine 0 3 0 0
M McCann c G McClintock b Jun McBrine 6 6 0 1
S McCloskey c I Butt b Jun McBrine 9 17 0 0
J Martin   b Jun McBrine 2 11 0 0
L Ritchie* st R-Lee Dougherty b Jun McBrine 1 11 0 0
I Crown c D McGerrigle b J McGonigle 1 2 0 0
I Hill-Nicholl not out   2 5 0 0
extras   (b0 lb3 w3 nb0) 6      
TOTAL   10 wickets for 101      
FOW
1-60(D McCallum) 2-62(C Averill) 3-69(S Kennedy) 4-69(J Thompson) 5-77(M McCann)
6-85(M Averill) 7-92(J Martin) 8-97(S McCloskey) 9-99(I Crown) 10-101(L Ritchie)
Bowler Overs Maid Runs Wkts wd nb
W McClintock 4 0 18 0 1 -
G McClintock 2 0 20 0 - -
I Butt 2 0 18 0 2 -
W McBrine 4 0 17 1 - -
Jun McBrine 8.2 1 13 7 - -
J McGonigle 5 0 12 2 - -