Creevedonnell dared to dream
Ian Callender (Belfast Telegraph)
CREEVEDONNELL dared to dream of one of the greatest upsets in Irish Cup history. The scoreboard at the tiny North West ground showed North County, the five-time winners of the competition, on four wickets for four runs in pursuit of 160.
Former Ireland international Gary Neely and Jack Glenn had wreaked the early havoc but, unfortunately for ‘Donnell, the best had yet to come on the Balrothery side. At that precise moment, John Mooney — with 128 internationals and counting — strode to the wicket for his first serious game since he hobbled out of the World Twenty20 in Dubai eight weeks ago.
Mooney duly stayed to the end, his undefeated 78, with seven sixes and three fours, seeing his side home with 17 balls to spare.
The hosts did take three more wickets but the damage had been done in a fifth wicket stand of 145 between Mooney and Ciaran Garry and all Creevedonnell have to look forward to is Saturday's Senior One League game against Fox Lodge which is likely to have a bearing on who stays in the top section next season.
One North West ‘minnow' who can look forward to a second round Irish Cup tie is Coleraine who celebrated the opening of their new facilities at Sandel Lodge with an emphatic victory over Lurgan. Led by captain Ian McGregor's 79, the Bannsiders reached 263 for six.
The NCU Section One side reached 52 for no wicket but then collapsed to 78 all out although Cameron Grieve and James McCollum, injured when fielding, could not bat.
There was further good news for the Coleraine club when Cricket Ireland told them they would be hosting their first senior international for 22 years, when South Africa A play a four-day game there starting on August 13.
Coleraine received a home draw against Donemana but only one other North West side, defending league champions Brigade, are in the last 16, with the biggest omission that of Limavady who were sensationally bowled out for 65 at Terenure.