IT was a mixed weekend for Coleraine Seconds as they recorded a win and a defeat over the two days.
They hosted Donemana on Saturday in a high-scoring and thoroughly entertaining encounter. Alongside Newbuildings, both sides are expected to challenge for top honours in Qualifying 1 and Coleraine will be delighted with a five wicket victory. It was far from a one-sided affair however.
Amid sunny skies, Donemana had no hesitation in batting first and began steadily in compiling 38 runs from the opening 10 overs. Coleraine hit back, dismissing Huey (15), Britton (26) and Robinson (1) to the bowling of Martin brothers, Kyle and Johnny, and Rory Knox respectively. When Mark Averill dismissed Tom Riddles for 14, Donemana were precariously placed on 79-4. Refusing to unravel, the Holm men put on 47 for the fifth wicket and steady partnerships followed thereafter. Doherty held the innings together during his 94, propelling Donemana to 237.
The Martins, Knox and young Rishi Chopra both claimed two wickets apiece but it was Donemana who were happier at the halfway stage.
Donemana’s enthusiasm only increased as the Douglas brothers, Matthew (1) and Paul (5), both fell early in the chase to McBrine’s canny medium pacers. At 24-2 in the 12th over, Mark Averill joined Rory Knox with the aim of blunting Donemana’s pursuit of wickets. By rotating the strike regularly and punishing anything loose, Coleraine scored 160 runs in the 23 overs that followed, changing the course of the match.
Averill drove powerfully and dispatched anything on the pads while Knox punished anything short. It was the running between the wickets however that created the boundary opportunities. By converting ones into twos and going ‘over-the-top’ when Donemana brought the field in, Coleraine assumed a position of ascendency.
When Knox (82), Peter Wallace and Averill (92) fell quickly, 184-2 became 194-5 and it was game on. This only enabled Steven “Schner” Harper to exorcise the demons of last Sunday’s startling collapse. Harper hit the ball straight and long during his 31 not out and was ably supported by Rishi Chopra (14 not out) as Coleraine secured victory with four overs remaining.
On Sunday Coleraine travelled to Brigade in a rearranged league game. Coleraine smashed 50 inside the first seven overs but Knox (7), Wallace (6) and Torrens (21) all holed out to deep fielders. Matthew Douglas (15) and debutant Stephen Hutchinson (7) attempted to consolidate the innings but were stifled by a buzzing Brigade attack as Coleraine mustered just 87.
Coleraine set attacking fields in the hope of grasping any opportunity provided by Brigade but struggled initially to gain breakthroughs. Nick Donnell capitalised on Coleraine’s attacking intent, smashing seven fours during his knock of 43. At 61-1 and 77-2 defeat seemed a foregone conclusion. Martin brothers, Kyle (2-11) and Johnny (2-14), and Steven Harper (3-16) had other ideas as Coleraine captured eight wickets in a thrilling finish. Brigade eventually got home with five balls to spare.