Senior Two round-up
It was almost a full week-end of Sammy Jeffrey action for Division 2 sides as they eventually made inroads into the outstanding fixtures in the memorial shield competition on Saturday afternoon. Having waited for weeks for their first bite at it, successful sides didn't have to wait long for part two as the semi finals were pencilled in for the following day- with one proviso.
David Walliams might refer to it as “a right kerfuffle” but the situation going into the weekend was thus. Eglinton were at home to St Johnston on Saturday with the winners then due to travel to Sion Mills on Sunday; so far so good. The other quarter final however was between Ardmore and Drummond and as the visitors don't play Sunday cricket the scenario was that if Ardmore won, they would host Burndennett the next day, but if Drummond won, the semi final would then go to next Saturday. Which obviously left a problem for Mark Doherty's team as they had to sit around until possibly 7.30 on Saturday evening before they found out if they had a match on Sunday.
The solution? Burndennett would travel to Ardmore on Sunday regardless and if it was a Sammy Jeffrey tie well and good but if Ardmore lost on Saturday the two sides would bring forward their league game from next month and play that instead. All's well than ends well.
Drummond decided to bat first when they got to the Bleachgreen and a few familiar faces were among the runs, none more so than Gordon Cooke who is once again having a superb season. The former Ireland pace bowler appears equally at home with bat in hand these days and he was bang on the money again as Drummond headed towards a big score. Philip Moon had earlier made 34 but Cooke and his sidekick Steve Moore (31 not out) helped them to 214 for 2 in their 40 overs, the only downside that the skipper was stranded just 2 runs short of a deserved century when the overs ran out. Ardmore have been having a really poor time of things this season and Lee Brolly's mood won't have been helped by another indifferent batting display in reply. Only Peter Harrigan with 32 and Tim Harris (27) offered much by way of a scrap and 4 wickets apiece for Moore and Declan Carlin settled a 77-run win for Drummond.
Saint Johnston were at Eglinton in the other quarter final as the two title combatants went head-to-head but it was the current leaders who came out on top. A half century for Sachin Dixit and 36 from Andrew Fleming helped the Donegal side to a respectable 179 all out as Stephen Smyth and Neal Stewart claimed four wickets apiece. Richard Wylie was on a real going day however and in typical attacking style blast 20 fours and 2 sixes in a really entertaining 116 as the home side cruised to an impressive 6-wicket win.
All of that meant that the villagers would head to Sion on Sunday for their semi final tie while the other semi was put back until this coming Saturday leaving Ardmore and Burndennett to play their league match. Karl O'Doherty's men batted first in the Sammy Jeffrey tie and another century, this time from the bat of Stephen Smyth enabled them to post a daunting total. Smyth smashed 10 fours and 7 sixes as he gave a glimpse of his old form with an unbeaten 105 while Simon Olphert (40) and Andrew Pierce (31) kept him company. Johnny Friel and Lee Finlay claimed two wickets apiece for the home side who, it must be said, gave a really good account of themselves in reply. Andy Lucas played very well for his 68 while Kevin Gallagher added 40 as Sion got to within 61; Richard Wylie doing best of the bowlers with 3 for 37.
Eglinton must wait to see who they play in the final then so Ardmore and Burndennett locked horns with points at stake instead. The Bleachgreen outfit has just one win to their credit so far this season and they got no change from Burndennett in this one either despite the visitors travelling with a party of just ten. Aidan Boyle hit 5 fours and a six in his 47 while there were cameos from Mark Pollock (31), Mark Doherty (26) and John McCormick (21) in their 183 for 9. Sean Gormley claimed 4 for 47 for the hosts but picked up a hand injury which prevented him from batting while George Brolly added 3 for 26. Boyle knew it was to be his day when he bowled the dangerous Adrian Murphy for just 3 and despite a defiant 34 from Phil Patterson, Ardmore's batting didn't hold up as they were dismissed for 119. Two valuable points for the visitors as they look to consolidate a mid-table spot but more misery for Ardmore who curiously remain just two points off the bottom.
And so to this week with a massive game ongoing at present as Eglinton host Drummond with those two in-form ex-Internationals, Cooke and Smyth going head-to-head. A win for the villagers would put them 4 points clear at the top although the Saints would have two games in hand. The Donegal side has a chance to close the gap when they entertain out-of-sorts Ardmore at the Boathole on Saturday while the villagers have no more league games after tonight for a couple of weeks. Co-incidentally, Drummond and Burndennett were due to meet in the league on Saturday albeit at a different venue but the Sammy Jeffrey match will now take preference. That means that the only other league action this coming Saturday sees Killyclooney host Sion Mills with the home side knowing they really need a win from somewhere if they are to have any chance of staying up.
SAMMY JEFFREY SHIELD
At Eglinton, St Johnston 179-10-39.4 (S Dixit 53, A Fleming 36, S Smyth 4-26, N Stewart 4-39) lost to Eglinton 180-4-34 (R Wylie 116, A Pierce 25, S Smyth 21, I MacBeth 2-26) by 6 wickets.
At the Bleachgreen, Drummond 214-2-40 (G. Cooke 98*, S. Moore 31*, P. Moon 34) beat Ardmore 137-10-34.1 (P. Harrigan 32, T. Harris 27, D. Carlin 4-22, S. Moore 4-32) by 77 runs.
Semi final (played on Sunday)
At Sion Mills, Eglinton 253-9-40 (S Smyth 105*, S Olphert 40, A Pierce 31, J Friel 3-31, L Finlay 3-46, K Gallagher 2-48) beat Sion 192-10-37.3 (A Lucas 68, K Gallagher 40, R Wylie 3-37, J Miller 2-22) by 61 runs.
LONG'S SUPERVALU DIVISION 2
At the Bleachgreen, Burndennett 183-9-44.5 (A Boyle 47, M Pollock 31, M Doherty 26, J McCormick 21, S Gormley 4-47, G Brolly 3-26) beat Ardmore 119-9-42 (P Patterson 34, A Boyle 5-27, S McCay 2-12, C McGettigan 2-28) by 64 runs.