Brigade reach Senior Cup final
It took five weeks for the rain to clear so that Donemana and Glendermott could play their Northern Bank senior cup quarter final but when it finally did, Richard Kee's men required little more than two hours on Saturday afternoon to wrap up a win and book their place in next week's semi final against Bready.
Batting first, the visitors actually got off to a good start with professional Roy Silva keeping the board ticking over and despite losing Simon Killen and Bob Robinson early on they were reasonably placed at 81 for 2. When James McBrine bowled Charlie Elder however blind panic set in and just four runs came off the bat of the last seven batsmen with more ducks than Creggan Country Park in the bottom half.
Silva was the last to go having hit 5 fours and 3 sixes in his 56 as Glendermott couldn't cope with the guile of Junior McBrine. The left-armer returned stunning figures of 5 wickets for 2 runs from his 6 overs and was backed up by his twin James who added 4 for 20. It was only a matter of how far from that point and despite a rare failure from professional Kamran Sajid, an unbeaten 48 from Ryan Hunter (8 fours and 1 six) meant that Donemana had plenty in hand. Hunter and his Ireland under-19 team-mate Andy McBrine sealed a facile 8-wicket win with an unbroken 57-run stand as Donemana earned next Saturday's showdown with the cup holders.
The winners of that will meet current league champions Brigade in next month's decider after Mark Simpson's side earned a nervous 13-run win at Coleraine. The visitors batted first in this one and a welcome return to form for Iftikhar Hussain was to be the difference between the teams.
Mattie Moran and Gareth McKeegan put on 59 for the first wicket before the former was out for a typically aggressive 32 (4 fours and a six). McKeegan and Hussain took it over the 100-mark but when Chinthaka Jayasinghe did for the former and then Harry Chappell in consecutive balls, the mood changed. The prize wicket of Johnny Thompson for just 9 and the dismissals of Trevor Britton and Dean Curry left Brigade on 164 for 6 but crucially, Coleraine hadn't shifted Hussain.
The all-rounder passed his hundred just before the end of the 50 overs, 9 fours and 2 sixes in an unbeaten knock that allowed Brigade to finish on 227. Jayasinghe ended with 4 for 29 and Averill 3 for 36 as Ian McGregor opted to utilise his spin options over seam.
The Coleraine skipper also raised a few eyebrows when dropping himself to number 6 in the order but at 73 for 1 the hosts looked in the driving seat. The game was to turn again at that stage when a stunning catch from Harry Chappell ended Jayasinghe's involvement and the fielding side responded. Within no time Coleraine were 5 down and staring down the barrel with just David Cooke standing in Brigade's path to the final.
Cooke loves a challenge of course and with first Paul Douglas and then Johnny Martin he gave the Bannsiders a real chance of pulling it out of the fire. Disaster was to strike for them in the penultimate over however as Cooke was caught at the wicket off the bowling of Mark Snodgrass for an excellent 78 before the same player bowled Gareth Burns to end the contest with his side 13 runs in front.