An all-action day of Long’s SuperValu Premiership cricket on Saturday finished with reigning champions Donemana ending Brigade’s unbeaten start to the season while gritty Ardmore did likewise to Bready at the Bleachgreen.
The champions victory at Beechgrove was a thoroughly emphatic effort and with the visitors leaving the Waterside with the full haul of 25 points, the title race is now well and truly open for business.
That win came courtesy of a superb unbroken 160-run stand between Donemana professional Malith Cooray and Gary McClintock that helped the visitors recover from their horror start of 8-3 having been put in to bat.
Cooray managed to get to his century, however McClintock only just fell short, needing to score three off the last two deliveries to get there he could only manage a single off the penultimate ball to close on 98 not out.
Brigade’s reply started well but as soon as Donemana turned to spin, the home side gave way and were well beaten by the end.
Ardmore’s win was a much tighter affair although probably not as nervy as it should have been.
Chasing Bready’s 235, half centuries from Paul McDowell, Steve Lazars and Kevin Martin seemed to have the home side well on top before a spate of late wickets got the league leaders back into it.
They just didn’t have the runs to play with however, and badly missed the input of skipper David Scanlon who was forced out of the attack with a back injury in just his second over.
Precious points these for Gary Neely’s team but Bready stay top by virtue of the fact that they have picked up 14 out of 15 bonus points so far this summer.
Coleraine pulled off an incredible fightback to stun Strabane at Sandel Lodge.
The home side struggled to put together their 166-8 and looked dead in the water as the Red Caps got to 136-4 in reply.
Somehow the bowling unit were able to pull it back however and with the visitors losing their last 6 wickets for just 19 runs, Scott Campbell’s team claimed what could be a really important win.
Eglinton continued their impressive run of form as half centuries from Andy Millar and Mike Erlank saw them easily account for Fox Lodge.