North Down and Clontarf end NW interest
NO CUP JOY FOR SAINTS OR BANNSIDERS
The North West's last two representatives in this season's Irish Senior Cup both fell at the quarter final stage on Sunday, St Johnston beaten but not disgraced at Clontarf while Coleraine were unable to defend 303 at home to North Down.
The Saints started well in Dublin with a couple of early wickets including that of in-form Bill Coghlan but were soon toiling as Andrew Poynter and Colin Currie proved an awful lot more resilient. That pair batted right through the remainder of the holders' 50 overs, Ireland International Poynter unbeaten on a superb 195 while his partner was just 9 runs short of a deserved century.
A total of 315 for 2 was always going to be beyond the Championship side especially after Zander van der Merwe had helped reduce them to 33 for 6 in reply but a spirited late fightback from Ryan Macbeth (44), Rammohan Goud (37) and Kushpal Singh (35) at least put some respectability on a 163-run defeat.
Down at Sandel Lodge the Bannsiders will be licking their wounds as their horrible recent run continued with a second cup defeat in as many days. Strangely too it was their normally reliable bowling line-up that was found wanting after the batsmen posted a whopping 303 for 4 in their 50 overs.
Niall McDonnell and Stephen Campbell put on 114 for the first wicket before the latter went for 52 and then McDonnell and Kyllin Vardhan also added a century stand for the second as Coleraine took control.
The opener was out just after making his century (103) but Vardhan (84) and former skipper David Cooke (42 not out) looked to have put the hosts in a winning position as their 50 overs came to an end. James Cameron-Dow (3-49) fared best with the ball for the Comber side whose own reply started in good shaped as Andrew Sutherland (44) and Johnny Terrett (47) knocked off the first 100 with little fuss.
After they went, Nick Larkin (46), Ryan Haire (45) and then a pivotal 60 from Peter Eakin kept the visitors bang up with the asking rate and an unbeaten 39 from Taimur Khan guided them over the line.
This will have been a real blow for the reigning North West and Ulster champions, especially on the back of Saturday's defeat at Donemana as their season threatens to implode.