DONEMANA would have been quite happy to have finished their season last weekend when they picked up the North West Senior Cup, but they have at least one more match to play after reaching the All-Ireland T20 Cup final.

The cup specialists ended CIYMS’s reign in yesterday’s semi-final at Bready which was decided by what proved to be the penultimate ball of the match. When Andy McBrine hit a single off Jacob Mulder it put Donemana one run ahead of the DLS par score and, with the rain already falling, left skipper William McClintock to keep out the last ball of the over.

The umpires immediately conferred and waved the players off the field never to return and Donemana were in their first All-Ireland final since 2009.

If they win next Saturday, against the winners of today’s other semi-final between YMCA and Cork County, they will face CIYMS again on Sunday for a play-off game to decide who represents Ireland in the European Cricket League next season. Both games next weekend are scheduled for Belmont but that could yet change because of Covid-19 restrictions.

With the minimum margin as the result, both teams can look back on a run that got away but the crucial event was probably the fifth ball of the Donemana innings when McBrine was dropped at mid-off, a difficult chance to David Miller running backwards, but although he got both hands to it he couldn’t hold on.

CI knew they would be without Allen Coulter yesterday but the withdrawal of international Mark Adair, with a side strain, yesterday morning definitely handicapped them but then Donemana can say they were without Gary McClintock.

It was veteran left arm spinner Jordan McGonigle, however, who swung the game Donemana’s way in a topsy-turvy CI innings
William McBrine had started the day in sensational fashion with two successive maidens – virtually unheard of in T20 cricket – and in his second he also claimed the wickets of John Matchett and Nigel Jones.

Chris Dougherty and Jason van der Merwe, however, then added 92 for the third wicket before McGonigle returned for his second spell.

Dougherty hit two of his first three balls for six but holed out next ball going for his 50 and after van der Merwe had done the same to Dean Meheffey to reach a 34-ball half century, McGonigle got him in his next over and followed up with the wicket of James Cameron-Dow to give him four in the innings.

With the help of five wides and a six from Miller, CI still scored 20 off the last two overs but, batting second, Donemana held their nerve and stayed in control.