Burndennett enjoyed a welcome win in the Championship as they won by 32 runs away at Bonds Glen. The win was set up by Player-Coach Niall McDonnell, who made a brilliant unbeaten century that included 10 fours and four sixes, adding 89 for the second wicket with Mark Doherty, who made 34 in a total of 207 for 4, Wickets then for Mark and Conan Pollock, plus Derek Curry and Cody Mehaffey ensured the victory.

It was the 18th senior century for McDonell, who came very close to winning a senior Ireland cap against Pakistan when he was included in the squad, but just missed out. The former Ireland A player scored one of those 18 against the MCC, while the others were made with Strabane (4), Brigade (4), Coleraine (7) and Burndennett (2).

"Burndennett is a fantastic club full of characters on and off the field of play," said McDonnell.

"To their credit, given a very tough catchment area, the club are doing everything they can, not just to keep cricket going but to secure the game for future generations. This is seen by their efforts to restore a youth programme, with over 20 children signed up to the smash it programme. They’ve identified a great man in Marty Deans to spearhead this venture. 

"It’s easy to say, Marty and I can see improvements in the performances, what’s important is what the players think.  

"Our aim is to make those willing to commit and challenge themselves become better players, which along with the refocus on youth will strengthen the club going forward.  It’s about framing what success is, you can’t guarantee the result, but you can control the effort levels and high standards of performance."

The Strabane Academy schoolteacher enjoyed further success this week as his young charges reached the semi-finals of the Schools’ Cup, beating Limavady Grammar. They will be hoping to emulate, or indeed improve on their showing in last year’s competition when they reached the final before being beaten by a powerful RBAI side, whom they now face in the last four.