Bready edge out Coleraine despite Campbell debut hundred
No surprise that the closest game of the day was at Magheramason where two sides with ambition to challenge for honours this season met in superb conditions for cricket.
The visitors welcomed new professional Chinthaka Jayasinghe into the side and also gave a debut to Gareth Burns whom they signed from The Nedd but Coleraine were soon on the back foot as Ian Young began the season in fine form.
The Bready pace man removed Paul Douglas, David Cooke and then crucially, the Sri Lankan professional while at the other end skipper David Scanlon accounted for the dangerous Ian McGregor to leave the Bannsiders reeling on 20 for 4 early on.
Scott Campbell survived the early onslaught however and gradually began to play an innings of great composure as he and Craig Averill halted the slide. Averill, also making his debut looked in good touch as these two put on 140 for the 5th wicket; the latter first to go having made 39.
That pair apart the rest of the order was found wanting in truth but by now Campbell was in the zone and he didn't really need much assistance. The Ireland youngster posted his first competitive half century with his club while Averill was still there with him and then went on to turn it into a “ton”, pretty much by himself.
He finished unbeaten on 109 off 163 balls and having braced the boundary rope nine times as Coleraine set Bready a victory target of 194.
The visitors' order simply didn't cope with Ian Young, Campbell and Averill notwithstanding, and the Bready bowler finished with brilliant figures of 3 for 26.
Bready's reply started solidly enough, another debutant, David Barr sharing a 42-run opening stand with David Rankin but from there the hosts lost their way. 42 for 0 was soon 57 for 4 but in the same way that Coleraine found solace in Scott Campbell, Bready had Agha Sabir.
The overseas man shared a 64-run partnership with Mark Olphert to get the home side back into it, before the game swung again as that pair were both dismissed by Rishi Chopra. Sabir made 61, hitting 7 fours and a six but when James Long was lbw to Andrew Douglas the game was perfectly poised with Bready 150 for 7.
David Scanlon's men needed 44 to win in less than 8 overs and the Bannsiders required three wickets but a composed partnership between the skipper and man-of-the match Young sealed the deal.
The latter was unbeaten on 31 with Scanlon making 22 as the home team collected the points with 8 balls to spare and although this was already a huge win for Bready,
Coleraine can take plenty of positives from the contest. That they ran the senior cup winners so close with only two players scoring more than 4 should make them difficult to beat when they click into gear.