The destination of the season’s first silverware in the North West was decided on Sunday when the League Champions – Coleraine – played the winner of the Senior Cup – Donemana at Magheramason in the T20 Charity Cup.
Coleraine won the toss and elected to bat first, with Scott Campbell unavailable because of University commitments, Niall McDonnell opened the batting with Johnny Ring and the pair gave their team the early advantage as they added 55 for the first wicket.
When McDonnell (37) was stumped by Ricky-Lee Dougherty, Donemana sensed an opportunity to regain the initiative and when they claimed the wickets of Ring, Kyllin Vardhan and Rishi Chopra within the space of 12 balls, Coleraine appeared to be in trouble.
However this brought Jarred Barnes to the crease and in a man-of-the-match performance, he took apart the Donemana attack, striking 2 sixes and 3 fours in his 28 balls – finishing 40 not out and steering the team to a total of 151 for 8.Requiring over 7 runs per over, the Donemana opening batsmen started strongly, until Barnes struck with the ball and had Stephen Wallace caught by captain Gordon Cooke.
Kamran Sajid soon followed his teammate back to the pavilion, but it was the dismissal of the dangerous Ricky-Lee Dougherty – courtesy of an excellent catch by Rishi Chopra – which was to prove the vital wicket of the game.
With Dougherty gone, Donemana struggled to keep up with the run rate and in spite of a 50 run partnership between captain Richard Kee and Gary McClintock, their challenge petered out as they could muster only 115 runs in their 20 overs, giving Coleraine an impressive winning margin of 36 runs.
Next Saturday the 1st XI start their campaign in the Irish Senior Cup competition, with a home draw against NCU side CIYMS. The action starts at 12.30pm and the team would appreciate as much home support as possible at this important fixture, as they hope to emulate the success they had in the Premier League and the Ulster Cup last season, with a good performance in this prestigious competition.