Brigade face Newbuildings in crunch tie
Ian Callender (Belfast Telegraph)
BRIGADE may have claimed a Premiership and Senior Cup double last season but they face a must-win game today in the penultimate round of the T20 Championship.
The Beechgrove side are one point behind Newbuildings in Group 2 and only the winners go through to the Senior Cup semi-finals, so with both teams expected to win their final group game, it is effectively a shoot-out.
Indeed, Newbuildings know that a maximum 25 points victory today will ensure they top the group ahead of their game against St Johnston next week, and with Gareth McKeegan and Johnny Thompson returning to face their former club, there should be plenty of competitive action.
The first clash between the teams last month was abandoned as a no result with Brigade 8-2 in the third over chasing 108 for victory so literally anything could have happened that day.
Not that either Brigade or Newbuildings will be taking anything for granted next week, after the midweek result at Killyclooney who shocked Donemana by chasing 165 with a ball to spare to move within three points of the previously unbeaten Group 3 leaders.
Tim Dougherty, with an unbeaten 37 saw Clooney over the line and their first ever victory over their neighbours, leaving Gary McClintock’s 66 for the visitors redundant.
Revenge will be in the air at The Holm next Saturday but first Clooney must follow-up that triumph with a home victory over Ardmore or else Donemana could clinch that semi-final place tomorrow with a home win against Bonds Glen.
Coleraine also lost their first match last week to Eglinton but are still in pole position and even if their victors follow up with a win against Ballyspallen tomorrow, the Bannsiders will still confirm their Senior Cup place with victory at Ballyspallen on Sunday.
Group 3 is the most competitive of them all with three teams still in contention for top spot although Burndennett have to win their two remaining games and hope Bready lose both, while Fox Lodge could also nip in with two wins, starting at Burndennett.