Coleraine Second XI travelled to Bready on Sunday knowing that a victory was required if their title challenge was to be maintained.
Electing to bat first, Bready made a very strong start with K. Hamilton and C. Spence peppering the straight boundaries. The pair carried Bready to 164 for 3, and as Hamilton passed his 50 it appeared as though Coleraine were going to be chasing a very imposing total.
Their fears were not unfounded, as despite Kyle Martin (4 for 54) returning to the attack to taking regular wickets, the hosts finished on 287 for 9 off their 50 overs. With both regular opening batsmen unavailable, Coleraine were always going to be up against it in pursuit of Bready’s score. Their cause was not helped however by the loss of in-form batsman Vishal Chopra for seven. Captain Pete Wallace and Rory Knox steadied the ship, allowing Coleraine to progress to 57 for 1 before Knox was dismissed for 16. Wallace was joined by Calum McGregor who continued the recovery for Coleraine as they looked to be making a good fight of their run chase at 104 for 2.
However, Wallace (45) and McGregor (38) were dismissed to leave the visitors struggling on 150 for 6. Some late resistance from Coleraine’s up-and-coming youth players helped them as they finished on 187 all out. This was a convincing victory for the home side, but the visitors came away with various positives, in particular the impressive bowling display from 12-year-old Varun Chopra.
With three games left in the season Coleraine will be looking to finish as close to the top of the league as possible.
Team manager Nigel Barr said after the game: “Chasing a total like that was never going to be easy. Having said that I still maintain that we have one of the best youth set ups in the North West and today proved that.”
Next Saturday the 2nds have the first of their three remaining away fixtures – at Ballyspallen.