Red letter day for NW
Ian Callender (Belfast Telegraph)
WHAT a day for the North West! The region which has been almost wiped out in the first round of the Irish Cup in recent years won four of the remaining five Irish Cup matches and will have six teams in the second round.
Performance of the day was Ardmore's 11 runs win over five-time winners North County but they were run close by Championship side St Johnston, who stunned Civil Service North with a 130 runs hammering in Donegal.
At one stage, CSN, in reply to the Saints' 213, were six runs for five wickets as David Lapsley and Nathan Cole ripped through the top order, missing only skipper Nigel Jones.
Charlie Beverland made 52 but no-one else reached double figures as Lapsley finished with five for 21. Jassi Wallia top scored for St Johnston with 60 before he was one of Andrew Cowden's four wickets.
Ardmore were bowled out for 143 at The Bleachgreen and were second favourites at halfway but, following a rain delay, North County's target was 139 in 45 overs and Gary Neely and Decker Curry, opening the bowling, gave them the perfect start, reducing their illustrious visitors to 38 for six.
They recovered to 118 for seven but Andrew Riddles ended the nerves in the home camp with two quick wickets and North County were bowled out for 128.
Fox Lodge were undoubtedly favoured by bowling first when their game against Leinster at Rathmines was reduced to 20 overs but the home side could not even bat out the overs, dismissed for 85 and Ifti Hussain's undefeated 35 saw the Foxes home by nine wickets with 17 balls left.
Strabane were yesterday's other North West winners, needing less than 19 overs to pass Lurgan's 87 at Strabane Park and set up the only all-North West second round game, at St Johnston.
In contrast, it has been a disastrous first round for NCU clubs with only Waringstown and North Down in the last 16. The Villagers were bowled out for just 178 by Terenure in their second attempt at The Lawn but Gary Kidd took four wickets as the south Dubliners managed only 104.
Muckamore and Instonians were yesterday's NCU casualties, the former in a badly rain-affected match at Merrion and the weather was even worse at Shaw's Bridge where, after playing 19 overs in a steady drizzle, a cloudburst abandoned the game and Railway Union won the bowl-out.
Revised second round draw: Waringstown v Railway Union, North Down v Phoenix, Coleraine v YMCA, Merrion v Ardmore, Fox Lodge v Clontarf, Pembroke v Cork County, St Johnston v Strabane, The Hills v Bready. Ties played Sunday, June 8.