North West Senior Cup quarter final draw
When the dust settles on the weekend just past it would be fair to say that cricket followers in the North West can reflect on one of the most entertaining dayís sport they will have enjoyed in the past number of years.
Certainly the game at the Rectory had everything- a superb pitch, beautiful weather, two in-form quality teams, centuries on either side and a huge crowd cheering every boundary. To be fair, nobody would have given Glendermott a prayer when Niall McDonnell and Iftikhar Hussein were in full flow and nobody could have complained if those two had batted the Rectory side out of it, however Stephen Smyth and Rodney Pearson did an excellent job stemming the flow of runs.
Still 317 looked a long way off after 50 overs in the field but the chase was enthralling. Smyth looked in good touch and Van Rauenstein as well and I have no doubt that Glendermott skipper Gordon Montgomery woke up on Sunday morning still shaking his head that they didnít finish Brigade off. Take nothing away from the Beechgrove men however because they looked dead and buried, but took full advantage at the smell of blood.
The draw was reasonably kind to them as well, a home quarter final tie against a Coleraine side that has shown everything good about their season as well as their darker side in the past fortnight.
Their implosion against Fox Lodge that ended their unbeaten start to the season has been well documented but their effort at home to Sion Mills on Saturday was much more like it. The visitors, maybe worryingly for the Bannsiders, took advantage of some average fielding to post a total of over 200, however Coleraine were always in cruise control. Another unbeaten century from Ian McGregor was more than enough to see them safely home but they will know that they canít be quite so generous when they go to Beechgrove.
Strabane too will be delighted with the last eight draw having been handed a home tie against St Johnston. Peter Gillespie continued his superb start to the season posting unbeaten centuries on consecutive days at the weekend and although they will surely start favourites against the Donegal men, Gillespie will ensure that nothing will be taken for granted. Professional Jonathan Beukes missed the win at Fox Lodge at the weekend, making that performance all the more impressive but the Saints will be a dangerous underdog.
Andy Flemingís men accounted for Ardmore in methodical fashion in the first round proper with the skipper anchoring his sideís reply to the Bleachgreen sideís mediocre total of 160. That was the Saints first win this season and it remains to be seen how they come on for it, however Strabane have to fancy their chances in that one.
The old foes, Limavady and Donemana have been drawn together yet again and the Roesiders certainly look like going into this one as favourites. Decker Curryís side didnít really need to be at their best to get past Bready on Saturday and they havenít lost since their opening day reverse at Strabane.
Limavady have an abundance of match-winners in the side and both Chris Moore and David Cooke are enjoying a successful time of things at present.
Donemana on the other hand seem to be struggling a little at the minute despite being too strong for Drummond in the first round. Their league season hasnít taken off at all but they will always remain a real threat in a one on one situation. It canít really be the draw that either team would have wanted but it will take a big effort for the holders to get over this hurdle.
The final tie is a real tricky one to call as Burndennett, the only unbeaten side in either division will host Eglinton who got their season up and running with a thumping win at Bonds Glen.
The villagers may well be finding points hard come by in the league at present but they exposed the glaring differences between the two leagues last Saturday. Professional Adam Knezevic had a massive part to play in that win; the Australian taking 7 wickets in a convincing performance however there is every chance they could find Burndennett a much tougher proposition.
Jimmy Boyleís team have real designs on the single promotion spot this season and will see this as the ideal opportunity to test themselves at that level and with home advantage look sure to serve it up to the top flight side. All in all though you would have to think that Eglinton need to have an off day and Burndennett need to be at the top of their game if this one isnít to go to form.
Northern Bank Senior Cup Quarter Final Draw
Ties to be played Saturday June 5
Strabane v St Johnston
Limavady v Donemana
Burndennett v Eglinton
Brigade c Coleraine