Fixtures stack up for Senior Two sides
FIXTURES STACKING UP AS WEATHER WINS AGAIN
It was a subdued sort of weekend for Division 2 sides this time as Ardmore's Sammy Jeffrey first round tie against Drummond was postponed for a second time while there was little fortune either for the two teams still involved in the Northern Bank senior cup. Rain once again impeded the start at Burndennett on Saturday but Mark Doherty's side gave a magnificent account of themselves both on and off the park in what was to turn out to be a difficult sort of day. The hosts were without Gerard McAuley and Aidan Boyle but skipper Doherty made a superb 60 at the top of the order while Stephen McCay with 42 and John McGettigan with 40 (including 5 sixes) had all combined to put them in a relatively good position early on. The holders certainly knew they were in a game at that stage especially given the fact that David Rankin had been ruled out with a knee injury sustained at Creevedonnell last week. Things slowed up considerably after that whirlwind start but it was to be irrelevant in the end after a sickening accidental clash between Bready fielders Ian Young and Marc Fleming left the former with a horrible leg injury. An ambulance was called immediately and it was clear from the seriousness of the collision that several Bready players were in no mood to continue with the game at that point. Bready have since confirmed that Ian required surgery on what is believed to have been a bad break but credit to Burndennett and indeed umpires John Thompson and Alan Dunn who agreed to an abandonment at that stage. The game now starts from scratch next Sunday as Burndennett's ground is unavailable on Saturday owing to a prior booking. Neither side would have taken any satisfaction from progressing in the circumstances so this was obviously the correct call by all involved.
It was supposed to be St Johnston's turn on Sunday as they were due to host Brigade in the other quarter final but here the elements won the day. Things were so bad at the Boathole all week that the Saints had barely been able to cut a pitch however they did suggest playing on the mat to get some sort of result. The champions weren't overly enamoured with that proposal however leaving the umpires with little or no option but to pull the plug. The game has now been rescheduled for this coming Saturday and we can only hope for better weather over the coming days as there are clear concerns now about getting the senior cup played to its schedule.
The fixture backlog now means that most clubs will have midweek matches at various stages over the next few weeks and there is almost a full programme ongoing at present. Killyclooney and St Johnston started their scheduled 40-over game on Monday night while Drummond's home game with Eglinton which couldn't be played on Saturday due to Gordon Cooke's side involvement in the Sammy Jeffrey was also due to be started. Incidentally, a proposal to the Cricket Operations Committee to have Sammy Jeffrey ties decided by a bowl out if there is no result after two attempts is currently under discussion. There is no rule in the North West by-laws to cover this eventuality either way so it is believed that the committee will allow a bowl out after two unsuccessful attempts but only with the express agreement of both teams. This Saturday Ardmore and Drummond will try for the third time to play their first round match but the saving grace here is that the previous contests have been called off prior to travel to this point. The danger however is that with the Sammy Jeffrey, like all cup competitions, taking preference over scheduled league games, both clubs could begin to stack up outstanding fixtures. Ardmore are subsequently in midweek action as well, their game from Saturday away at Burndennett was due to start last night and run through to Thursday if necessary.
Obviously the league programme is affected again this coming weekend; Sion Mills v Drummond is off as the visitors try again with Ardmore while St Johnston v Eglinton was scheduled to be the big game of the day between the two sides protecting unbeaten league records. The Saints' involvement in the senior cup obviously means that this one joins the queue of rearrangements, however the remaining match should be fine as Killyclooney and Burndennett square up ahead of the visitors' cup appointment the following day.