NW CRICKET FINAL: Coleraine aim to end Donemana’s Senior Cup run

Donemana's Andy McBrine is expecting a tough encounter against Coleraine. INLS30-McBrine
Donemana's Andy McBrine is expecting a tough encounter against Coleraine. INLS30-McBrine
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Donemana are looking to make it five North West Senior Cup successes in a row when they face Coleraine in this weekend’s showpiece final at Strabane.

The two-day Bank of Ireland encounter, which gets under way on Friday at 12noon, probably has the best two sides in the region facing each other.

The Holm men will go into the game as slight favourites although they did lose to the Bannsiders in a league game earlier in the season.

Ricky Lee Dougherty’s men should be at full strength with the return of Andy McBrine from international duty and the Irish all-rounder knows it’s going to be a tough two-days against the champions.

“We know it’s not going to be easy against Coleraine as they have a good mixture of youngsters and experience in the side and they have already beaten us once this year, so they are going to be really up for it,” said McBrine.

“We have to keep doing what we are doing, we know what our strengths are and what our weaknesses are, but we have to just back ourselves and all the lads have to put in a big effort over the two days this Friday and Saturday.”

McBrine, who has won the senior cup four times, is hoping that big game experience will help his side.

“Coleraine will be relishing the final, as it’s their first senior cup final in 30 years, but we have played enough finals, especially this team alone, so we know it’s going to be a tough task over two days,” he added.

“But it will depend on whoever plays the best cricket over the two days I reckon who will come out on top.

“I would say there will be a good crowd and if we can get two good days, we’ll have good cricket, because if you get good weather that always helps the senior cup final.”

Coleraine skipper Scott Campbell admits the whole club are looking forward to their first Senior Cup final appearance in 30 years. INLS30-Campbell

Coleraine skipper Scott Campbell admits the whole club are looking forward to their first Senior Cup final appearance in 30 years. INLS30-Campbell

The Bannsiders are making their first appearance in the final in over three decades and everyone at the club can’t wait.

“There is a great buzz about the club,” said captain Scott Campbell.

“Look, 30 years may seem a long time but the last five years has made it feel even longer, getting to the semi-final for the last five in a row has been a hard pill to swallow.

“But now that we’ve got our chance we are looking to take it with both hands and hopefully literally with me lifting the cup.”

We just have to back ourselves

Andrew McBrine

Campbell concedes that the club has had a pretty successful last few seasons but winning the NW Senior Cup would mean everything to the club.

“To win the senior cup would be a huge success as it is the trophy along with the Irish Cup which has been missing from the cabinet,” he added.

“To win your local cup would be a huge achievement from where Coleraine were 10 years ago struggling in the second tier. The league games will come thick and fast after the cup final so no matter what happens we still have every chance to win the league for the third time in four years.”

Just last month the finalists met with Campbell’s side running out convincing winners but he expects the final to be a lot tighter.

“Of course Donemana will be the favourites going for their fifth consecutive win but we know we can beat them,” he said.

“It was a real cracker of a game up in The Holm having ran out six wicket winners and last year we also beat them twice in the league so we know the trophy is up for grabs,” he added.

“The real interesting thing is that it’s a two-day final which is something different but again should be a great spectacle.

“We have some very experienced campaigners in the Cooke brothers Gordon and David who have both won the senior cup many times with Limavady and Brigade and they will be of great help to me in such a big game.”