Villagers head into play-off with perfect 12
The only thing that remained of the Division 2 season was whether or not champions Eglinton could go through the league campaign with a perfect record, thereby ensuring that they headed into next Saturday's promotion/relegation shoot-out with Glendermott with confidence high.
Standing in their way was basement side Killyclooney who by contrast hadn't managed to pick up a point all season and the gulf in quality was apparent from the outset.
The home side batted first and although the villagers' pace-man Jonny Gardiner went for a few runs early on he managed to pick up three wickets that started the rot. Ross Allen has been a very useful addition to the Eglinton attack and the young spinner was also among the wickets as he claimed 2 for 16, however the real damage was done by Richard Wylie. The all-rounder has enjoyed his best season for years and turned on the style with the ball here, returning figures of 4 wickets for 2 runs as Killyclooney were dismissed for 71.
Jamie Millar with an unbeaten 36 and Chris Pierce (32 not out) made short work of that as Eglinton recorded 12 on the spin with a yawning 10 wickets to spare.
The final game saw Drummond travel to St Johnston in a match-up of two of the sides who have tried to keep tabs on the new champions albeit from a safe distance.
The Saints were first in and a Michael Rankin half century was the catalyst for their 158 for 9 aided by contributions from the top order.
Paul McIlmoyle claimed 4 wickets and Gordon Cooke 2 for the visitors who it must be said were very impressive in the chase.
Suggestions abound that Cooke may well have been playing for the Roe Valley club for the last time on Saturday but if it was to be his swansong then he finished on another impressive note. The former Ireland player has forged an excellent partnership with Steve Moore this past couple of seasons and those two were at it again here as Drummond made light of the target.
Moore with an unbeaten 75 and Cooke with 57 saw to it that their side would close out the campaign on a winning note with a full 8 wickets in hand at the winning line.
LONG'S SUPERVALU DIVISION 2
At the Boathole, St Johnston 158-9-30 (M Rankin 55, A MacBeth 24, P McIlmoyle 4-25, G Cooke 2-27) lost to Drummond 160-2-27 (S Moore 75 not out, G Cooke 57) by 8 wkts.
At Killyclooney, Killyclooney 71-10-24.5 (R Wylie 4-2, J Gardiner 3-41, R Allen 2-16) lost to Eglinton 76-0-9.1 (J Millar 36 not out, C Pierce 32 not out) by 10 wkts.
ALL TO PLAY FOR AS BURNDENNETT HOST CRUNCH CLASH
And so to the final piece of business of the year and next Saturday's promotion/relegation play-off at Burndennett which sees Eglinton take their unbeaten run into their biggest game of the season. Picking up the Division 2 title (and indeed the Sammy Jeffrey shield) would have been a big moment for the village club but make no mistake about it, everything has been geared towards this. The sides are very well matched and indeed there are plenty who will see Eglinton as favourites to snatch a place in next season's top flight. They have bags of experience of the big occasion in the shape of Stephen Smyth, Andy Christie, Nigel Thompson, Jonny Gardiner and Richard Wylie, the latter who has been so prolific this season. Runs have flowed for Wylie and Chris Pierce and the Rectory side will need to be switched on from the start or they could be chasing the game. The villagers also have the raw talents of Jamie Millar, Ross Allen, Andrew Pierce and Simon Olphert so skipper Karl O'Doherty will be nervously optimistic of a bold showing.
Glendermott are no one-man band but if they are to retain their senior status then this is the day that Roy Silva needs to earn his corn. The Sri Lankan was excellent against Bonds Glen last week and goes into this on the back of that unbeaten century. Mix in Charlie Elder, Bob Robinson, Simon Killen and skipper Montgomery and there are plenty of spanners that can be thrown in Eglinton's works in a game that has all the makings of a nervy encounter. Action gets under way at 12 noon for the 50 over contest which has a reserve date of Sunday if no play is possible on Saturday.
The Intermediate leagues have now all been decided as well and no surprise that Christopher Neely picked up the Intermediate 1 trophy at the Holm on Sunday during the tea interval in the Donemana v Brigade contest. Neely's side has been in control of the division for some time now and although they were pressed by Newbuildings, Coleraine and Bready the chasing pack were kept at arm's length. Donemana are always dangerous at this level of course and the skipper can be well pleased with a record of just three defeats from 18 matches. It has been a good debut season for Newbuildings but there is little doubt that the North West will want to see evidence of development at the fledgling club given that this has always been a probationary term for them. On the field they have certainly held their own and proven that they have plenty to offer the domestic scene so all will now hinge on their ability to convince the powers-that-be that they have the structure in place.
Intermediate 2 has been won by another familiar face as Bready 3rds lost just once in 16 matches to pick up the title there. Ian Cooke has been joined by a mixture of young and not so young but have still stayed well clear of Bonds Glen, Donemana and North Fermanagh in the race for honours. In an important year for the Magheramason club this is a very welcome trophy and shows that there remains plenty of depth around.
The Nedd have won Intermediate 3 but have been kept honest by Bready and Coleraine. The King's Lane side gave up its senior status at the start of the season but the players left have made the most of their opportunity. While there are definitely some who feel that The Nedd should have been playing in a higher league, few would deny them their moment in the spotlight after a difficult campaign. Where they play their cricket in 2013 could well be an interesting precursor to the new season but for now it is fair to expect that there would have been a few sore heads in Ballykelly on Monday morning and rightly so.
Sion Mills had already claimed the Intermediate 4 trophy last weekend, Damien O;Neill's team unbeaten throughout the league campaign and a very worthy winner as a result. Many will be hoping to see that improvement manifest itself at a more senior level next time.