MC CAY ON THE MARK

Ross McCay inspired Burndennett to a shock opening day win against Bready as the 2018 champions were totally outplayed from start to finish.

The former Irish youth international displayed a full range of strokes as he hit 9 fours and 5 sixes in his 87, sharing a century stand with Andy Barr (31) as the hosts posted 155 for 5.

Conor Olphert (3-8) was the stand-out performer for the youthful Bready attack. Bready never threatened the target, never recovering from the loss of Davy Rankin first ball caught by McCay off Brian Devine.

Gary Neely on debut accounted for Andrew Austin cheaply, before Mark Roulston (4-15) and Mark Pollock (3-26) tore through the brittle middle-order as the Magheramason side made just 88.

For McCay, who missed crucial games last year as Burndennett were pipped to the promotion slot, it was a welcome return to action.

“It was great to be back in the middle after all that has gone on. I didn’t think I’d miss the game as much with the lockdown going on,” he said.

“I’ve been working hard on my game this year, training hard in the early part of the year, and then getting back into the nets once the restrictions were lifted.

(Ross McCay)

“I’ve been striking the ball well in training, and it was good to bring that form into Saturday’s game and really hit the ground running. I was definitely helped by being fresh and completely fit. I would have liked to have got the hundred but got run out by a direct hit.

“Still, it was a great win for the team, and a result like that over a Premiership side gives us a lot of confidence going forward.

"We are in a tough group with derbies every week, including a tough match at Fox Lodge on Saturday. If we play the way we did against Bready, then this could well be our year for a trophy.”