Donemana edge out Limavady in thriller
Tie of the round was the meeting of the two cup specialists Limavady and holders Donemana – between them, the pair have won the trophy in 8 of the past 11 seasons – and they served up a thrilling contest which had the large crowd on the edge of their seats until the very last ball.
With six needed from that final delivery, 17 year old Andy McBrine kept his nerve to restrict Mark McDaid to just a single, leaving Donemana winners by just four runs.
Batting first, Donemana benefited from several uncharacteristic missed chances by the Roesiders to run up a score of 244 for 6 in their 50 overs.
Chief beneficiary of the Limavady generosity was opening batsman Richard Kee, who hit seven fours as he top scored with 63 from 89 balls. The decisive partnership was the 7th wicket stand between the uncle and nephew combination of James McBrine and Dale Olphert.
Coming together in the 37th over with their side on a precarious 141 for 6, they added what would prove to be a match winning 103 runs in those final 13 overs.
Both just missed out on half centuries – Olphert’s 49 came in 48 balls (4 fours, 3 sixes), while McBrine finished unbeaten on 48 from just 41 balls (2 fours, 2 sixes).
Simon Dunn, back on his old stomping ground, was by far the pick of the Limavady bowling, finishing with 3 for 29 in his ten over spell.
In reply, Limavady lost Chris Moore (21) and Stuart Thompson (11) relatively early, but a 70 run stand between Dean Curry (46) and David Cooke (82) looked to have swung the game Limavady’s way at 123 for 2.
The dismissal of Cooke who had hit 7 fours and 3 sixes in his stay of 104 balls was to prove crucial. He and Des Curry (17) departed in quick succession, and with the rate creeping up to six an over, it proved too much for the Limavady lower order - their final total being 240 for 9.
Azhar Shafique (3-51), Jordan McGonigle (2-41), Andy McBrine (1-34), Junior McBrine (1-35), and James McBrine (1-48) the Donemana wicket takers in a disciplined display which once gain silenced the doubters who had begun writing the great club’s obituary.