And then there were two
Eglinton and Fox Lodge were the only two North West survivors from the first attempt to get the Irish Senior Cup under way earlier this month but the return was to be much more miserable on Sunday's reserve date with all five clubs involved taking their leave of the competition.
To be fair, the defeats were far from convincing with Coleraine losing out 3-2 at Merrion in bowl-out sudden death. Strabane were also in Dublin and Ryan Gallagher's side will be furious that they failed by just 9 runs to get past Malahide.
Centuries for Kaushik Aphale and Craig Lewis meant Donemana were left to chase 282 at Derriaghy but the 2000 winners looked to be well in the game after skipper Ricky-Lee Dougherty (72), Ritchie McBrine (51) and Gary McClintock (39) led the fightback. It was to be of no avail however as Curtis Moorhead (3-29) nipped in late on to pick up the key final wickets with the North West men still 10 adrift.
Elsewhere Brigade could only muster 142 all out despite batting for more than 41 overs at Belmont. Iftikhar Hussain (30) and Ryan Hunter (28) was the pick of it but despite an unbeaten 73 from skipper Nigel Jones and a half century from Karthik Rajavelu, the home side needed a couple of overs more to get over the line in a contest that was attritional throughout.
Drummond, the last of the quintet, put up a desperately poor performance early on at Carrick; Chris Moore's team reduced to 21-7 at one point early on before 49 from Damien Carlin and 17* from Simon Dunn helped mask some of the embarrassment. Anthony Martin (5-19) was architect-in-chief although Ryan Eagleson (3-39) tidied up as Drummond could set only 107 and Carrick wasted little time in putting a hole in that.
In the only game not involving NW sides, 2006 winners Railway Union lost 2-1 to Cork County in the dreaded bowl-out.
Most of the National Cup games were settled by bowl-outs; Glendermott losing to Lurgan 2-1 while Newbuildings beat Academy 1-0. Greystones conceded to Ballyspallen after the umpires decided that they weren't happy with the playing surface while Burndennett were unable to field a team at Woodvale.
Creevedonnell lost by 8 wickets to Civil Service in a one-sided game in Phoenix Park. Terenure edged out Armagh by one wicket and there were also wins for Dundrum and Limerick.