Slim pickings as weather puts dampener
SLIM PICKINGS AS WEATHER PUTS DAMPENER ON LEAGUE PROGRAMME
It was a fairly disappointing day's action in both divisions of the Long's SuperValu North West league on Saturday and despite the best efforts of several the day ended with none of the matches decided. Heavy lunch-time rain put paid to the majority straight away however there was to be plenty of perseverance but ultimately no results at either Eglinton or Glendermott.
Donemana travelled to Bready with the visitors keen to play for more reasons than one- Tom Riddles having served just one of his two match suspension so far with next weekend's senior cup final looming large. Richard Kee had the consolation of knowing he has another chance as these two sides are due to meet in the Fleming-Agri T20 cup on Tuesday night, that competition now under the auspices of the North West of course. Still, they would much have preferred to have got it out of the way on Saturday, but it wasn't to be. Donemana batted first and got off to a flying start as Ricky-Lee Dougherty, promoted up the order in Riddles' absence hit 25 from just 17 balls early on. Unfortunately there was time for little else however as heavy rain closed in with the batting side 29-0 after 5 overs and they didn't manage to get back on after that.
Only two overs were possible at Beechgrove where Fox Lodge were the visitors, still desperately seeking a first league win of the season. Brigade on the other hand will have been buoyed by their 10-wicket destruction of Donemana in midweek a result that, coupled with Strabane's defeat at Bready, leaves Gareth McKeegan's side heading into the cup final in joint top spot. The Foxies need a minor miracle if they are to steer clear of relegation from here but at least skipper Jason Milligan and Iftikhar Hussain negotiated the 12 balls without much alarm.
The elements took a bit longer to get as far as Coleraine meaning that a full 20 overs were played on the North Coast before that too fell by the wayside. Mind you, Jarred Barnes's opening spell suggested that 20 might be enough as the tall South African accounted for Paul Brolly, Ciaran Curley and Decker Curry with just 17 runs on the board. With Curry gone the Bleachgreen side needed something from Andrew Riddles and Adrian Murphy and that pair didn't let their team down. Riddles hit 5 fours in his unbeaten 36 while skipper Murphy was not out on 27 (5 fours, a six and a single) when the inevitable clouds arrived. At 17 for 3 Ardmore would have been hoping for the rain but at 84 for 3 after 20 they might have been happy enough had it rolled by.
All of that meant that Eglinton and Strabane had the stage to themselves but minus Peter Gillespie and Aaron Gillespie (both injured) and Mark Snodgrass (holiday) the Red Caps would probably have been happy enough to wait for another day. They were on and off in this one too, Strabane losing the in-form Matt Bentley early on, bowled by Stuart Thompson, before the first interruption sent the teams off with the joint league leaders on 26 for 1 after 9. When they returned, 11 overs per side had been lost but Kevin Martin and Tawanda Mupariwa tried to make up for that time as they put on 82 for the second wicket. Mupariwa was next to go, falling to Richard Wylie for 27 but when Kevin Gallagher was caught in close off the same bowler for 5, Eglinton's tails were up. That was 91 for 3 but Martin was now in full flow and he and Jonny Robinson put Strabane back in the box seat.
When the next interruption came the Red Caps had moved on to 154 in the 30th over without any further loss and they were starting to boss the match- Martin unbeaten on 80 (9 fours and 3 sixes) with Robinson on 33 (4 fours and a six). Unfortunately for them however that was to be that, no further play possible despite, to their credit, both teams hanging around in the hope of getting some sort of a result. It was tough luck on Martin in particular, the Strabane opener looking set to post a century before the rain finally won. Richard Wylie (2-45) was the pick of the home side's bowling but the villagers are straight back into action tomorrow night (Tuesday) as they travel to Coleraine for a rearranged league game.
Have you any comment to make on any aspect of this article? What are your views on any of the opinions expressed in it? Have your say on the CricketEurope Ireland Forum.