The 2002 decider between Limavady and Bready was a one-sided affair, most noted for Decker Curry scoring a century in the two innings.
Curry and Limavady were in the midst of a golden period for the Roesiders which saw them capture trophies galore in more than a decade of domination.
Their figurehead was Curry, who had joined them in 1993 from Donemana. His drive and determination were legendary. He was simply put a winner, and this was backed up by preparation and hard work.
Never more so than on the morning of the game, when he and his teenage sun Dean got up three hours before the game to practice.
The Bready attack was spearheaded by teenage paceman Boyd Rankin who presented a difficult challenge with his speed and height.
In order to replicate this, Curry put the bowling machine on crates to gain extra height, and had the speed set to its highest position.
It worked and backed by Curry's centuries, Limavady won the two-innings decider by an emphatic 179 runs.
My original report of the two days are reproduced below.
It's advantage Limavady after the first day's action of the Northern Bank Senior Cup Final played at Eglinton.
They go into day two with a 58 run advantage after making 214 for 9 in reply to Limavady's 272 for 8. They will reflect however on a succession of missed opportunities, which if they had been taken could have meant very little between the two sides.
Limavady won the toss and decided to bat in glorious sunshine. The wicket looked to have a little moisture in it, but given the weather conditions over the past week both it and the ground looked an absolute picture, thanks to the hard work of and dedication of Terry Campbell and all the Eglinton ground staff.
Des Curry and Ian McGregor, while never at their most fluent early on, kept the score ticking along and aided by a succession of wides added 50 in 11 overs. The Bready plan of attack seemed to be concentrated on Curry's leg stump and while he didn't strike his first boundary until the 7th over, he seemed content to watch the score mount.
Ian McGregor escaped a difficult chance with the score on 22 when David Scanlon failed to hold a diving catch off the bowling of Roly Black. Decker Curry then upped the tempo with a huge six off Richard Hepburn which cleared the Eglinton pavilion.
It took the introduction of Geoffrey McConnell into the attack to produce the breakthrough. He removed McGregor for 23 with the total on 73, caught by Wian Smit at short cover to a ball which seemed to stop and left Smit with the easiest of tasks. It was felt that with the conditions early on McConnell should have been introduced earlier.
Professional Kamran Akmal joined Curry and he looked in fine fettle when he struck 3 boundaries before with the score on 105 he was adjudged caught behind by Alan Doherty off Geoffrey McConnell for 13. He was clearly reluctant to go but a few well chosen words from McConnell left him in no doubt that the bowler thought he was out.
Richard McDaid then joined Curry and the two set about building what they thought would be a considerable total. With Andy Christie and Mark McDaid both missing the final through injury, there was a great onus on this pair to stay as long as possible. Decker reached his 50 in the 24th over off 66 balls and it contained 5 fours and 1 six.
After having reached his 50 he survived a difficult chance being dropped by wicket keeper Alan Doherty where first slip would have been. However he had a real let off when having made 60 he danced down the track to Trevor Hamilton and missed the ball, but alas for Bready so did Doherty and the stumping chance was gone.
Curry survived another let off when having made 67 he skied Roly Black to point where Mark Olphert having made good ground spilled the catch. From that moment Curry never looked back and having struck Hamilton for a six and a four upped the temp considerably, with the 200 coming up in that 40th over.
McDaid had been quietly effective content to pick up the occasional boundary and indeed playing a very sensible innings. Curry eventually reached his 100 in the 42nd over which came in 132 balls and included 7 fours and 3 sixes. While not vintage Curry it almost had an air of inevitability after he was given those reprieves. Seven balls later he was eventually caught behind by Doherty off Boyd Rankin for 108 with the total on 244.
(Runners up Bready)
McDaid had reached his 50 off 63 balls with 6 fours, and had made 58 when he was bowled off his pads with the score on 252 in the 47th over. From then on Limavady lost a procession of wickets in the chas for quick runs. Rankin had Geoff Lockhart caught behind for 8, while the returning Gareth Harron drove a full toss back to David Scanlon for just 1 run. Simon McMichael and Victor McDaid were both run out as Limavady made a fine total of 272 for 8.
Boyd Rankin with 3 for 42 was the best of the attack, but Bready must be concerned with the fact that they conceded 53 extras, 23 of which were wides.
Bready in reply juggled their batting line up with David Lecky being promoted to open, giving a left hand, right hand combination. Mark Olphert began positively striking boundaries off Richard McDaid and Roger Kerr. Bready lost their first wicket with the total on 29 in the 8th over, David Lecky being caught behind by Billy Crown off Keith Burns for 8.
Alan Doherty batted at number three and held an end while Olphert played positively. He too had his let offs being dropped by Crown while on 17 and by McDaid when he had 36. He bounced back with three fours in an over from Burns which saw him replaced in the attack. With the score on 61 in the 20th over Olphert hit the ball to the boundary and set off for three. Unfortunately Doherty had only decided on two and was run out by ten yards for just 3 with the total on 61.
The arrival of Wian Smit into the arena saw both the run rate and the urgency between the wickets speed up. He and Olphert showed an almost telepathic understanding as they set off for runs. Olphert reached his 50 in the 27th over off 84 balls with a total of 8 boundaries. He had added 61 in 12 overs with Smit when he presented Des Curry with a simple catch off Kamran Akmal for 64. The hero of the two previous Cup encounters Robert Rankin then joined Smit and showed his undoubted talent with some lovely ground strokes. Smit reached his 50 in the 39th over off just 56 balls with 4 boundaries.
Shortly afterwards he skied a catch to Geoff Lockhart off Kamran Akmal but it was spilled. It didn't prove to be costly as in attempting to hit Des Curry out of the ground he only succeeded in finding Richard McDaid on the deep midwicket boundary. The same bowler then bowled Rankin for 25 to leave Bready on 186 for 5 in the 45th over. As with the Limavady innings Bready sacrificed wickets at the death in the quest for quick runs. Geoff McConnell went caught by Burns off Akmal for 6, Richard Hepburn was bowled by Akmal for 3, Roly Black was stumped by Crown off Lockhart for 7, and Scanlon went lbw to Curry for 9. Boyd Rankin and Trevor Hamilton were both not out as Bready finished on 214 for 9, 58 runs adrift.
Bready will need to take quick wickets tomorrow to get back into the game. If they can remove Curry and Akmal relatively cheaply, who knows what may happen. However it's a big if!
A magnificent second hundred from Decker Curry saw Limavady win the Northern Bank Cup for the 7th time, and Curry himself picked up his 8th winners medal. His performance set a new record for the final becoming the first player to score hundreds in each innings and in conjunction with Ian McGregor he set a new opening record partnership of 173.
Bready however over the two days didn't help themselves. They conceded an amazing 114 extras over the course of the game which included 53 wides!
Allied to that they dropped a plethora of catches including Decker Curry on no fewer than 4 occasions which cost them another hundred runs. Their ground fielding wasn't up to their usual high standard and this allowed Limavady to score at will. Their captain Wian Smit also employed some strange field settings, and why Geoffrey McConnell only bowled 12 overs during the game remains a mystery. Especially when you consider he only conceded 16 runs in 5 overs in the 2nd innings.
Limavady were always in control once Ian McGregor and Des Curry got going and they scored steadily at 4 an over with the 100 coming up in the 25th over. Mcgregor was spilled twice, firstly by Alan Doherty who had a match to forget, and then a straight forward one to Mark Olphert who couldn't hold on to the cut shot at point.
Curry reached his 50 in the 30th over which came in 73 balls and contained 6 fours and by then the score had moved to 125. While McGregor had almost matched him run for run up to that point, Curry soon shifted into top gear. He did however offer a chance to Smit at extra cover when he drove David Scanlon but the chance like so many went begging, and Curry moved relentlessly on.
McGregor reached 50 in the 33rd overs, being a little more circumspect than his opening partner taking 111 balls and also containing 6 fours. The 1st wicket fell with the score on 173 when McGregor square cut Roly Black straight to Mark Olphert who made no mistake this time.
That brought to the wicket Kamran Akmal who together with Curry set about demolishing the Bready attack. Together the pair added 83 runs in just 7 overs, with Akmal striking 46 in just 26 balls. He hit 4 fours and 2 sixes in a whirlwind knock which delighted the sizeable crowd.
In between Curry had reached his historic hundred off just 114 balls with 10 fours and a six. Akmal went bowled by Scanlon with the total on 256, and 14 runs later Boyd rankin removed Curry for 108, the same score as yesterday. Geoff Lockhart went caught behind first ball, but 14 from McDaid, 18 from Harron and 12 not out from Simon McMichael saw Limavady score a massive 313 for 7. Together with their 58 run lead this meant Bready would need 372 to win, a not very likely scenario.
Bready never really had a chance and when Mark Olphert went for just 7, caught by Crown off Roger Kerr, the writing was on the wall. Robert Rankin made 10 before being caught by Gareth Harron off Kerr with the score on 46. Wian Smit and Roly Black both batted well but Limavady were content to let the game fizzle out.
Smit reached 42 before being bowled by Akmal in the 25th over with the score on 86. Davy Lecky scored 7 before backing up too far and being run out. Geoff Lockhart then got in on the act having both Boyd Rankin and Richard Hepburn caught by Des Curry at slip. Curry had deprived Roly Black of a deserved half century when he had him caught and bowled. Geoff McConnell batting at number 9 enlivened proceedings when he crashed 40 in very quick time including a six and a four off one Curry over. David Scanlon had been bowled 2nd ball for duck and Alan Doherty for 4, both by that man Curry.
McConnell was eventually caught with 3 balls left by young sub fielder Simon Kilburn off the unlikely figure of Gareth Harron, to leave Limavady winners by the margin of 179 runs.
Joe Doherty in his summation rightly paid tribute to the fantastic work performed by Terry Campbell and the Eglinton ground staff who produced a pitch that saw nearly a thousand runs over the two days.
Indeed Decker Curry summed it best when he said "although the pitch maybe wasn't as good as Eglinton would have wanted it, it was still good enough for me!"
Bready will certainly pay testament to that.
Curry also alluded to the fact that you have to take your chances when they are presented. The fact that Bready singularly failed to do so meant that this contest was very much a one sided affair.
|Toss won by||Limavady 1st XI|
|Player of Match||Decker Curry|
|Decker Curry*||c A Doherty||b B Rankin||108||0||0||0|
|I McGregor||c W Smit||b G McConnell||23||0||0||0|
|K Akmal||c A Doherty||b G McConnell||13||0||0||0|
|R McDaid||b B Rankin||58||0||0||0|
|G Lockhart||c A Doherty||b B Rankin||8||0||0||0|
|G Harron||c&b D Scanlon||1||0||0||0|
|S McMichael||run out||1||0||0||0|
|R Kerr||not out||6||0||0||0|
|V McDaid||run out||1||0||0||0|
|extras||(b4 lb21 w23 nb5)||53|
|TOTAL||8 wickets for||272|
|1-73(I McGregor) 2-105(K Akmal) 3-244(Decker Curry) 4-252(R McDaid)|
|5-262(G Lockhart) 6-264(G Harron) 7-271(S McMichael) 8-272(V McDaid)|
|M Olphert||c Decker Curry||b K Akmal||64||0||0||0|
|D Lecky||c B Crown||b K Burns||8||0||0||0|
|A Doherty+||run out||3||0||0||0|
|W Smit*||c R McDaid||b Decker Curry||58||0||0||0|
|R Rankin Jnr||b Decker Curry||25||0||0||0|
|G McConnell||c K Burns||b K Akmal||6||0||0||0|
|R Black||st B Crown||b G Lockhart||7||0||0||0|
|R Hepburn||b K Akmal||3||0||0||0|
|D Scanlon||lbw||b Decker Curry||9||0||0||0|
|B Rankin||not out||5||0||0||0|
|T Hamilton||not out||1||0||0||0|
|extras||(b0 lb9 w16 nb0)||25|
|TOTAL||9 wickets for||214|
|1-29(D Lecky) 2-61(A Doherty) 3-132(M Olphert) 4-174(W Smit) 5-186(R Rankin Jnr)|
|6-189(G McConnell) 7-196(R Hepburn) 8-205(R Black) 9-209(D Scanlon)|
|Decker Curry*||b B Rankin||108||0||0||0|
|I McGregor||c M Olphert||b R Black||54||0||0||0|
|K Akmal||b D Scanlon||46||0||0||0|
|R McDaid||run out||14||0||0||0|
|G Lockhart||c A Doherty||b B Rankin||0||0||0||0|
|G Harron||c R Black||b B Rankin||18||0||0||0|
|S McMichael||not out||12||0||0||0|
|R Kerr||c G McConnell||b D Scanlon||0||0||0||0|
|V McDaid||not out||1||0||0||0|
|extras||(b9 lb14 w30 nb7)||60|
|TOTAL||7 wickets for||313|
|1-173(I McGregor) 2-256(K Akmal) 3-270(Decker Curry) 4-270(G Lockhart)|
|5-285(R McDaid) 6-309(G Harron) 7-309(R Kerr)|
|M Olphert||c B Crown||b R Kerr||7||0||0||0|
|W Smit*||b K Akmal||42||0||0||0|
|R Rankin Jnr||c G Harron||b R Kerr||10||0||0||0|
|R Black||c&b Decker Curry||47||0||0||0|
|D Lecky||run out||7||0||0||0|
|B Rankin||c Decker Curry||b G Lockhart||1||0||0||0|
|R Hepburn||c Decker Curry||b G Lockhart||12||0||0||0|
|D Scanlon||b Decker Curry||0||0||0||0|
|G McConnell||c sub||b G Harron||40||0||0||0|
|A Doherty+||b Decker Curry||4||0||0||0|
|T Hamilton||not out||0||0||0||0|
|extras||(b2 lb5 w13 nb2)||22|
|TOTAL||10 wickets for||192|
|1-17(M Olphert) 2-46(R Rankin Jnr) 3-86(W Smit) 4-123(D Lecky) 5-126(B Rankin)|
|6-138(R Hepburn) 7-138(R Black) 8-155(D Scanlon) 9-184(A Doherty)|