HOWZAT!

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Having played no cricket in the past 2 weeks, Coleraine 1st XI had a busy schedule this week starting on Wednesday evening with a rearranged Faughan Valley Cup match at the Rectory against Glendermott before facing Merrion in the Irish Cup on Friday and Eglinton in the Senior Cup on Saturday.

After the defeat by Merrion Coleraine team were immediately back in action at home in the North West Cricket Union’s Danske Bank Senior Cup.

Eglinton, their opponents in the first round of the Cup, had also travelled to Dublin on Friday for their Irish cup game and were likewise defeated by a Leinster side, Phoenix. Both teams were clearly hoping to recover quickly from those defeats, but Coleraine had the advantage of a previous victory this season against Eglinton in the league.

On this occasion Eglinton won the toss and opted to bat first. Coleraine’s first wicket came at the end of the first over as Jarred Barnes had Andy Christie caught by Gordon Cooke for 8. The second opener, Christopher Pierce, was out in the 5th over as a mix up between the batsmen resulted in a run out by Craig Averill.

Again the wickets fell steadily and Eglinton were reeling on 40 for 4 in the 10th over, when at last a substantial 46 run partnership was built by Tim Chopra and Stephen Smyth. This was ended by Coleraine spinner Rishi Chopra taking the wicket of his uncle Tim, with both batsmen on 19 runs and Eglinton on 86 for 5.

Smyth was the next to go on 27, but it was only when Johnny Gardiner and Karl O’Doherty formed their 36 run 9th wicket partnership, that Eglinton showed any further resistance. Coleraine’s bowlers shared the wickets with three of them – R Silva, R Chopra and J Barnes - taking two apiece as Eglinton were all out in the 46th over for 146.

Coleraine opened with Niall McDonnell and Craig Averill, but after a slow start on a damp and slow pitch, they lost the first wicket on 24 for 1. McDonnell went on to make 55 runs, with first David Cooke (11) and then Paul Douglas (42 not out), but he fell after a 64 run partnership with Douglas on 117 for 3. This left Roy Silva (20 not out) to finish the innings with Douglas, as he hit 2 sixes and 1 four to finish the game giving Coleraine a seven wicket victory.

Coleraine now progress to the quarter final, where they have drawn St Johnston in another home tie, due to take place on the 15th June.

Ardmore provided the major shock of the opening round of the North West Senior Cup on Saturday when they ousted hot favourites Strabane in a low scoring, and at times feisty, encounter at Strabane Park.

The Bleachgreen side scored 143 with Adrian Murphy top scoring with 24, Paul Brolly and winter signing Andrew Riddles both making 23, and Gerard Brolly hitting 20.

Ryan Patton (3-25), Tommy Barr (2-12), Matthew Bentley (2-24), and Aaron Gillespie (2-38) were the wicket takers for the Red Caps.

Openers Barry Scott (6) and Kevin Martin (2) both went early but Strabane recovered well with Matthew Bentley (31) and Peter Gillespie (22) both batting sensibly.

At 76 for three Strabane seemed destined for a relatively comfortable win, but Ardmore had other ideas. The disputed run out of Mark Gillespie (14) proved a turning point and with Craig Hartin (4-18) causing havoc with the lower order, the Championship side won a topsy turvy game by just eight runs.

Paul Brolly conceded a miserly nine runs in his 10 overs spell while taking the crucial wicket of Zimbabwean Bentley, while Gerard Brolly’s return to action saw him dismiss Peter and Aaron Gillespie to have the excelent analysis of 2 for 23. They weren’t the only Premiership side to go out though , as Glendermott thrashed by St Johnston.