There was no shortage of talking points on Saturday afternoon as the penultimate round of group matches took place in this season's North West T20 competition.

Alana Dalzell became only the third female player to make her domestic senior debut when she helped Bready post an 8-wicket win at Strabane Park while in the big game of the day at Beechgrove, Iftikhar Hussain claimed a hat-trick as Brigade beat Newbuildings.

(Alana Dalzell receives her Bready cap from David Scanlon)

There were several tense finishes but for all of that, still no outright winner in any of the groups as of yet.

Coleraine will have the chance to be the first to claim that honour however if they record a win on Sunday against a Ballyspallen side still without a victory this season.

'Spallen managed just 46 all out against Eglinton on Saturday with Stephen Dunn(4-7) claiming the honours with the ball for the home team.

Dunn was backed up by Richard Wylie who returned stunning figures of 3 wickets in his three and a half overs without conceding a single run.

Jamie Millar made 20 not out in the reply as Eglinton won by 7 wickets.

Up at Beechgrove, spectators were treated to a fantastic game between the top two in that group- Newbuildings and Brigade.

Johnny Thompson was bang in the mood against his former team mates as he picked up 4-24 in a superb opening burst. At the other end Jason Dunn chipped in with 2-17 as the home side slumped to 68-7 in the stifling heat.

It took stubborn resistance from Ross Allen who made 55 not out in an unbroken 8th wicket stand of 52 with Chris Dixon to help Brigade to a final total of 120-7, and those runs were to prove crucial.

Newbuildings were well in the hunt in the first half of their reply before that hat-trick from Hussain (4-18) stopped them in their tracks, going from 63 for 2 in the 11th to 69 for 6 in the 15th.

It took the Foyle View side time to recover from that, but despite losing those wickets, they were still in it while Ross Dougherty was in the middle.

Heading into the last over, the visitors needed an unlikely 24 to win and although Dougherty hit 17 off it to finish unbeaten on 67, Newbuildings were six short at the line.

Brigade will have the chance to finish the job next weekend against a Glendermott side who were well beaten by St Johnston.

Bob Robinson made 55 and Mattie Barr 39 as the Bonds Street lads posted 151-7 with David Barnard (4-30) and David Anthony (2-26) best with the ball for the Saints.

The Donegal men then took advantage of ideal batting conditions as birthday boy Michael Rankin hit an unbeaten 61 to steer his team to a 7-wicket win, with excellent support from Ian Macbeth (33*) and David Lapsley (30*).

Up at Strabane Park, Alana Dalzell was enjoying her senior debut and the 19 year-old showed she was well capable at that level.

Alana bowled the crucial 18th and 20th overs for the Magheramason side, conceding just 9 runs in total and despite having two catches put down in her spell.

Aaron Gillespie's 50 was by some margin the highlight of the Red Caps' total of 115-6 while Dean McCloskey picked up 2-24 for Bready.

In reply, David Rankin made 35, Davy Scanlon 28 and Ross Campbell 25 not out in an easy eight wicket win for the visitors.

Donemana recorded a crushing 10 wicket win at home to Bonds Glen that puts them in the driving seat to head the group.

Stephen Barr top scored with 26 not out as the Championship side made 88 for 8 in their 20 overs.

Dean Mehaffey and Dwayne McGerrigle claimed three wickets apiece for Donemana while Andy McBrine, making a rare club appearance added a brace.

The hosts needed just six overs to rattle off the win- skipper William McClintock hammering 7 sixes and 5 fours in an 18-ball 64 not out, sharing a 91-run stand with Levi Dougherty (20*).

The now obligatory shock result saw Killyclooney stun Ardmore to win by 11 runs.

Darren Moan made 33 before retiring hurt, Timmy Dougherty 26 not out and Jordan Nelson 26 in 'Clooney's 128-6 with Jared Wilson and Sean Gormley each picking up two wickets.

Ciaran Curley made 40 and Wilson 24 as Ardmore's reply began well, however William Finlay (3-21) helped the home side fight back.

Heading into the last three overs the Premiership outfit needed 20 to win, but some tight bowling from Killyclooney kept them down to just eight as they secured the points. Tim Dougherty conceding just three runs having bowled the 18th and 20th overs.

The final game of the day was even closer as Fox Lodge held off Burndennett by just two runs.

Jason Milligan hit 6 fours and 3 sixes in his 77 not out as the Ballymagorry side recovered from a shaky start to make 143-6.

Mark Heywood chipped in with 28 while Gary Neely claimed the bowling honours with 3-18.

Former Foxie Mark Mooney hit 43 and Andy Barr 37 as Burndennett chased hard but needing three to win off the final delivery, Jonny Robinson bowled Marty Mehaffey to hand the home team the win that keeps their senior cup hopes alive.

Ross McCay was left stranded on 27 not out as a day of high-quality action ended with a thriller.

It promises to be quite a climax to the group stages next Saturday!

MATCH SCORECARDS

https://www.cricketeurope.com/CEIRELAND/2020/NORTHWEST/results.shtml