Nasty injury mars Saturday's rain affected programme
NASTY INJURY MARS SATURDAY'S RAIN AFFECTED PROGRAMME
The elements once again won the day on the domestic cricket front on Saturday as the senior programme was decimated by rain for the second week running.
It was a pretty similar scene at Stormont as well, Ireland's game with Australia ending after just 10 overs although having lost two wickets to Brett Lee's first over, the hosts maybe would have been the happier of the two sides to leave it there. There were plenty of empty seats around the Belfast venue for the visit of the world's top one day team but perhaps the fact that Friday's rain looked to have put paid to any hope of play was a contributory factor. Nevertheless it was a disappointing end for those who did make the journey after what was one of the most keenly anticipated games in recent seasons.
Closer to home the ongoing spell of poor weather means that the Northern Bank senior cup semi finals have had to be pushed back at least another week after yet more postponements at the quarter final stage. The game between Donemana and Glendermott was called off on Friday night after torrential rain and the Holm side indicated that it still wouldn't be playable on Sunday, therefore the fixture secretary had no option but to abort plans to play the semi finals next weekend.
Donemana were due to play Bready at Magheramason yesterday in a re-arranged league fixture and Richard Kee will be desperately keen to see that one completed as his side faces an ominous looking fixture backlog over the coming weeks. The joint leaders have an outstanding T20 contest at Beechgrove at the head of the queue and are scheduled to play Mark Simpson's side again on 7 July however that now looks sure to be required for the cup semi finals if Donemana make it.
To confuse matters still further Kee's men have an Ulster Cup semi final and a Irish Senior Cup last eight match in Dublin to fit in as well and all of this at a time when they will be getting set to lose Andy McBrine and Ryan Hunter to the under-19 World Cup in Australia. Donemana could well find themselves playing catch up as the season reaches a crucial stage so will be keen to get as much game time as they can in the next fortnight.
With two of the senior cup games set to be played yesterday that just left the tie between Burndennett and Bready to take centre stage on Saturday. Rain here too meant the match was reduced to 41 overs a side and Mark Doherty opted to bat on winning the toss. He and Stephen McCay played superbly early on, the latter dominant in an opening stand of 73 hitting 6 fours and a six in his 42. Doherty and Mark Pollock then took it to 114 before Pollock holed out to David Scanlon having made 18.
That brought John McGettigan to the middle, the start of an entertaining cameo from a man that North West cricket has seen too little of in recent times. McGettigan took a shine to Marc Fleming hitting the Bready youngster for three successive sixes and his brief stay yielded 40 runs which included 5 maximums. Doherty eventually fell for a superb 60 that contained 5 fours and 3 sixes, a real captain's innings when his side needed it but the runs fairly dried up after those two went.
At 166 for 2 and with 9 overs in the bank a score of 240 looked possible but the hosts added just just 20 in the next six and a bit overs and went into the 38th on 186 for 6. In the chase to up the ante however Mark Porter skied one to long off and as Ian Young and Marc Fleming closed in for the catch they failed to see each other.
It was obvious immediately that damage had been done in the sickening clash and within minutes Ian was on his way to hospital with a serious leg injury that is believed to have required surgery over the weekend. Young Fleming was very distressed and although showing no physical injury it was clear that he was in no condition to continue. Reduced to nine players and obviously concerned for their team-mates Bready clearly didn't want to continue and to their eternal credit Burndennett offered to abandon the game and start again next week, a gesture much appreciated and gladly accepted by the cup holders.
Bready had already lost David Rankin with a knee injury ahead of this one and with Young now out for the season skipper David Scanlon certainly doesn't have his sorrows to seek. On the plus side Trevor Hamilton may be tempted out of retirement to pick up the slack but either way the game ended with that nasty accident and will now take place next Sunday.
The league matches between Bonds Glen and Coleraine and Fox Lodge v Limavady were both called off as well, as was the Sammy Jeffrey match at the Bleachgreen between Ardmore and Drummond. That left just Brigade and Creevedonnell in action in the top flight and despite being a very low scoring affair this one turned out to be a fascinating contest.
Kyle Morrow and Lee Williamson ensured a solid start for the visitors but after they were parted with the score on 32 the wheels came off the Creevies' wagon as the bowlers took control. From there until the end of the innings only Andy Barr with 11 made it to double figures as Stephen Scroggie's side were shot out for just 68.
Mark Snodgrass, whose unbeaten half century saw Brigade turn the tables on Waringstown in the Ulster Cup on Sunday showed his worth with the ball this time returning figures of 5 for 31 while Iftikhar Hussain revelled in the conditions to claim 4 for 16. Chasing such a modest total few gave the visitors a prayer from there but ten minutes into the reply the complexion had changed, Gareth McKeegan, Chris Dixon and Iftikhar Hussain all back in the hutch with just a single run, and a “wide” at that, on the board.
Johnny Thompson and Trevor Britton steadied things a little before Thompson and then Harry Chappell also went to leave the champions teetering on 27 for 5. Trevor Britton was still there though and with Dean Curry at the other end, those two were able to repair the damage. Both men were given chances and several of them; the difference between standards once again evident in the field and although Scroggie bowled Curry towards the end, Brigade were able to close out an oh-so-narrow 4 wicket win.
So all of that means that the schedule for the week ahead looks set to intensify and there will be a third attempt to sort out the last four places in the senior cup next weekend. Before that however there is plenty to keep local enthusiasts interested starting this evening (Mon) as Coleraine and Limavady play their re-arranged T20 game while the scheduled matches between Bready and Strabane and Fox Lodge v Glendermott will also get under way.
Donemana look set to ease a little of the congestion as their T20 clash with the champions at Beechgrove starts on Wednesday night so it looks destined to be a big week particularly at the top end of the table with all four co-leaders in action. Bonds Glen are still without a win at the bottom however the 9th spot is being keenly contested between Fox Lodge and Glendermott with just one win apiece and Creevedonnell only two points above them. Any win in that zone now could turn out to be priceless with two teams being relegated this season.
Finally for now however the entire cricket community wishes a speedy recovery to Ian Young following treatment for his injury at the weekend and hope that it won't be too long until he is back with his team mates.