MAGNIFICENT SEVENS

There was a historic first for the NW last week as a new ten-over senior seven-a-side competition was launched in the region. Three games took place with St Johnston beating Letterkenny in the Donegal derby, Newbuildings beating Killyclooney, while Fox Lodge overcame Bready in the tightest contest of the evening by just eight runs thanks to runs from Brian Allen, and a tight last over from Johnny Robinson where he dismissed both Davy Rankin and Scanlon.

The new competition was a big hit with both skippers, who saw the format as ideal preparation.

“The T10s is a very different and unusual format of cricket for sure but I see it as a really useful form of practice for our boys,” said Foxies skipper Aaron Heywood. “It’s a different challenge, as a bowler especially trying to bowl with less in the field but something I think can stand you in good stead moving onto regular eleven-a-side cricket.

“I have always been a fan of midweek cricket in the NW, especially back when most senior players would have taken part and it’s great to see that happening again. Match practice is the best practice and playing against the best players in the province will be beneficial. All of all our lads enjoyed the new challenge and I think i can speak for us all when I say that once you cross the line of play there is never any doubt about whether you will go all out to win or not.”

His views were echoed by Bready captain David Scanlon, who side reaped the benefits by beating Strabane on Saturday.

“Seven-a-side is a good addition and enables senior players to get involved. I started at midweek level at 15. It was good craic with a social element. Certainly a lot different but fast and finished in a short time which is excellent! With crowds allowed in it can only get better too.”

Dean McCloskey played in the T10 game and he played a crucial role in the win over Strabane at the weekend.

“The win was important for our young squad and will give us great confidence” said Scanlon. “This year will be a chance to let the young players take leading roles in the team. Brook Crumley and Khyat Bhavsar bowled really well and Dean McCloskey's debut couldn't have been better taking four scalps.”

Bready are next in action at home to Fox Lodge on Saturday.