BRIGADE will meet Cork Harlequins in the final of the All-Ireland T20 final next Sunday after defeating Carrickfergus in the semi-final at Middle Road.
Visiting skipper Andy Britton took his side to victory with four balls to spare, after hitting 42 from 26 balls and dominating the unbroken fifth wicket stand of 48 with Kyle Magee.
Chasing Carrick’s 146 for five, Brigade lost their fourth wicket in the 14th over but there was no panic from Britton when he came to the middle, content to take just three singles and a two from his first 11 balls.
With four overs remaining, Brigade still needed 39 and that was the over that the two-time international took off. He hit Jacques Snyman for two successive sixes and then took a single off the last ball to keep the strike for the start of the 18th over.
CJ van der Walt conceded only six and a leg bye but Britton was at the right end to take the first ball of the penultimate over from great friend Graeme McCarter. He showed no mercy and hit him for a four and a six to leave just six to win from the last over.
Britton needed only two balls, winning the game with his fifth boundary to set up a cup double header next weekend, with a Senior Cup semi-final on Saturday followed by a trip to Dublin.
The T20 final will take place at Rathmines the game brought forward from its original date of August 29 because Ireland are now playing Zimbabwe that day in the second match of the rescheduled tour.
Brigade and Britton had made the perfect start, the captain taking the catch at mid-wicket to dismiss his opposite number Michael Gilmour off Ryan Macbeth and two balls later he claimed the huge wicket of Carrick professional Jacques Snyman, caught behind for just 12 off seven balls.
Jeremy Lawlor, however, led the NCU side’s revival with an excellent half century off 36 balls, bringing it up with his second and third sixes in successive balls from Ross Allen.
However, his innings came to an end almost immediately afterwards when, looking to take a bye, he was sent back by van der Walt and having slipped when turning to get back to his crease he was comfortably run out.
Van der Walt then compounded his error by holing out to Allen at long-on two balls later and suddenly Carrick were 106 for four. Alex Haggan hit Davy Barr for back to back fours and McCarter hit Macbeth for two sixes in the final over which yielded 15 but 146 always looked slightly below par and so it proved.
Barr, who scored 94 not out and took six wickets in Brigade’s Senior Cup semi-final win over Ardmore, followed up with a run-a-ball 27 but his second wicket stand of 57 in 46 balls was dominated by Adam McDaid who struck five fours and two sixes in his 36.
Both were out in the space of seven runs and when Ifti Hussain was trapped in front by Van der Walt, Carrick were back in it. But then came Britton.
Scores: Carrickfergus 146-5 (J Lawlor 53, G McCarter 23 not out, Cj van der Walt 23; A Britton 2-19) Brigade 147-4 (19.2 overs, A Britton 42 not out, A McDaid 36, D Barr 27; CJ van der Walt 2-23). Brigade won by 6 wickets.