Donemana, Waringstown and Hills through in Irish Cup
There may not have been many games on Sunday but the quality more than made up for the quantity as spectators were treated to some thrilling action. There's only one place to start and that's at the Holm where Donemana qualified for the last four of this year's Bob Kerr Irish Senior Cup with a thoroughly convincing win over Railway Union.
The game was won and lost in pairs- Donemana's Ireland under-19 duo Ryan Hunter and Andy McBrine forming the backbone of the hosts' huge 347 for 9 while the visitors were stopped in their tracks by a slightly more mature combination when they threatened to make a real match of it. Donemana made a moderate start as Ryan Hunter and Kamran Sajid put on 49 for the first wicket but Hunter made light of the loss of the professional as he stood up to all comers.
The hosts innings was built around the young opener as he shared in partnerships with his skipper Richard Kee and then his under-19 accomplice McBrine and there was quite simply no hiding place for the Leinster side's attack. When the savagery ended Hunter's sum total was 16 fours and 5 sixes meaning little running was required for the remainder of his 114. McBrine added a shorter but equally thrilling 64 that included 6 fours and 4 sixes, with Kee's 34 hurting, and Gary McClintock and Jordan McGonigle's late cameos adding insult to injury.
That said, 347 isn't always a winning score at the Holm although the only team really equipped to chase it down is Donemana themselves. Pat Collins and Tom Fisher looked set to give it a real lash however and with 98 runs coming back at them just as quickly the Tyrone side knew something was needed.
They knew what, too, as the ball was thrown first to one twin and then the other and the move was to be the beginning of the end. The big moment was the arrival of Kevin O'Brien in the middle but the man who blasted England's attack to smithereens just a summer and a bit back managed just a single before mistiming one from Junior and his day's work was done.
There was still one or two defiant blows left in the Dubliners but James with four and Junior and Jordan McGonigle with three apiece sent the North West side into the last four. In this type of form Merrion would do well to win the toss when they land up the brae for the semi final.
South African professional Glen Addicott proved the hero for Waringstown as his love affair with the competition continued. He hit an unbeaten 94 to guide the holders into a semi-final slot. James Hall hit 80 as well as they chased a North County total of 252 which was built around 75 from Conor Armstrong with useful scores from Ciaran Garry (49) and a typically belligerent 44 from Terry Richardson. Gary Kidd with 3 for 29 was the pick of the attack.
Their reward for the win is a home tie against The Hills who emerged victors against YMCA in a thrilling encounter. Teenager Tomas Murphy was the hero, striking the last ball for four to bring the scores level, with The Hills winning by virtue of having lost fewer wickets. Murphy had taken 4 for 14 to restrict a YM side missing Trent Johnston to 157 all out - Albert van der Merwe making 40.
The semi final draw - Ties to be played August 4
Donemana v Merrion
Waringstown v The Hills