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Brigade relinquish their chance of shot at league crown

By Ian Callender

Published 11/09/2015

Unavailable: Gareth McKeegan has other commitments
Unavailable: Gareth McKeegan has other commitments

Coleraine have been handed the Long's SuperValu Premiership title by the team they finished level on points with, at the top of the table, Brigade.

In a statement, the Brigade club announced they would not be taking part in Sunday's play-off to decide the title because they are missing several key players which they say would be "a disadvantage and an injustice following the hard work and commitment shown by the 1st XI players involved in getting to the play-off".

Brigade claim that both the North West union and the Coleraine club refused to play the game tomorrow, as they had requested as long ago as mid-August in the event that they would be involved.

I understand that Ian McGregor and Gareth McKeegan go on holiday on Sunday and Ryan Hunter has work commitments.

Brigade say in their statement that "we acknowledge that player unavailability due to holiday or work commitments is not a valid reason for having a scheduled fixture moved" but were looking for an exception because of "the importance of the game".

The reason for the North West union setting Sunday as the date is because tomorrow is Faughan Valley Charity Cup final day at Glendermott and Brigade are playing Killyclooney in the Eric Cooke final.

The big match of the weekend in the North West is now tomorrow's promotion/relegation play-off between Bready, second bottom in the Premiership, and Fox Lodge, runners-up in the Championship, at Strabane Park.

In the NCU, Waringstown will receive the Premier League trophy after their final game against Instonians at The Lawn tomorrow but there will be a much more competitive match between Donacloney and Cliftonville with the winners certain to stay in Section One and the losers relegated with Templepatrick.

The second promotion place from Section Two, to go up with champions Armagh, has also gone to the final weekend with Laurelvale, who play relegated Victoria tomorrow, just 0.09 runs ahead of Saintfield, who host BISC on Sunday.

It was all over before lunch as Leinster Lightning won the Inter-provincial championship with a 152-runs victory at Rathmines yesterday as the Northern Knights batting flopped again.

Only Chris Dougherty, with a defiant 44 from 98 balls, and Robert McKinley who enjoyed himself at the end, hitting 56 from 43, held up the dominant home side.

Scores: Leinster Lightning 337-9 dec (87.4 overs, J Mooney 125, M Sorensen 78) and 191-1 dec (30 overs, F McAllister 105 not out, J Tector 57) Northern Knights 174 (68.1 overs, S Getkate 36) and 174 (68.1 overs, R McKinley 56, C Dougherty 44, S Getkate 20; Yaqoob Ali 5-51, G Dockrell 2-35, M Sorensen 2-53). Lightning won by 152 runs

Fixtures - Tomorrow (11.00am): Ulster Bank Premier League: Waringstown v Instonians.

Section One: Donacloney v Cliftonville (20 overs). Sunday: Lurgan v Academy.

Section Two: Laurelvale v Victoria. Sunday: Dundrum v Holywood, Saintfield v BISC.

North West promotion/relegation play-off (12pm): Bready v Fox Lodge (Strabane).

Eric Cooke Cup Final: Brigade v Killyclooney (Glendermott).

Belfast Telegraph

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