A weekend of cloudless skies and uninterrupted sunshine saw Coleraine 1st XI secure a place in the next round of the Senior Cup with victory over Killyclooney and then move to joint first position in the League with a home win against Bonds Glen.
On Saturday, Killyclooney elected to bat first, believing that Coleraine would struggle in the field as temperatures approached 28C. However, it was Killyclooney who struggled as they could find no answer to the tight bowling of Stevie Dunn and Gareth Burns, who each claimed a wicket early in the innings – Dunn conceding only six runs in his seven overs. Only Ken Colhoun offered any real resistance, and when Scott Campbell dismissed him to claim his second wicket, with the score on 73, Coleraine were able to finish off the tail with only 32 additional runs scored – with three wickets for Chinthaka Jayasinghe and two for Rishi Chopra.
Ian McGregor and Scott Campbell lost no time in displaying the quality of their batting. Clearly in no mood to toil all afternoon under the blazing sun, they both hit boundaries at will and knocked off the required runs in just over 10 overs and 37 minutes – McGregor finishing 48 not out and Campbell 52 not out.
Coleraine will now face stiffer opposition in the quarter finals of the competition, having been drawn against Limavady in a match will be played at Sandel Lodge on Saturday 16 June.
Sunday saw Bonds Glen travel to Sandel Lodge. Again it was Coleraine’s opponents who appeared to have secured an early advantage by winning the toss and batting first on a belter of a wicket. Coleraine’s bowlers, however, had other ideas and never allowed the visitors to settle. Wickets were taken regularly, with four for Scott Campbell and three each for Gareth Burns and Chinthaka Jayasinghe. Bonds Glen finished on 169 all out after only 39.2 overs.
Ian McGregor and Scott Campbell continued from where they had left off the previous day – batting sensibly while at the same time being quick to punish any loose deliveries – McGregor striking six fours in his total of 42 and Campbell eight in his 47.
When both openers departed, Chinthaka Jayasinghe (44 not out) and Craig Averill (27 not out) saw Coleraine home without any further alarms in 32.4 overs with eight wickets to spare.
Next weekend the 1st XI again have a demanding schedule – travelling to Belmont on Saturday to play leading NCU side CIYMS in the Ulster Cup and then to Beechgrove on Sunday to face last season’s North West League champions Brigade.