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Bready ease past Coleraine and book All-Ireland finals passage

 

By Ian Callender

Bready will represent the North West on All-Ireland Twenty20 finals day next month after a surprisingly easy nine wickets victory over Coleraine at Magheramason in yesterday's provincial decider.

After restricting the Bannsiders to 125 for six, an unbeaten partnership of 124 between David Rankin and Irosh Samarasooriya eased Bready to victory with 21 balls to spare.

The All-Ireland finals are at The Lawn on Sunday, August 20.

Graham Hume made the only breakthrough for Coleraine, having Kyle Hamilton caught behind to the fifth ball of the innings, but there was no stopping the two North West Warriors batsmen. Samarasooriya finished 66 not out from 48 balls with seven fours and a six and Rankin, who has played two T20 internationals for Ireland, hit 54 from 46 balls, but with only four boundaries.

The Coleraine innings never got going with even their best partnership, 58 for the second wicket between Marcus Poskitt and David Cooke, using up 50 balls.

Connor Olphert ended that stand when Cooke was dismissed for 33 and the visitors' hopes of accelerating were consistently interrupted by the fall of wickets, four more before the end, including Hume for just eight and Steve Lazars for six.

David Scanlon and Samarasooriya each finished with two wickets with Andrew Lucas picking up the other.

In the first final of the day, for the Eric Cooke Cup played for the by the Championship clubs, St Johnston needed 12 off the last over to pass Strabane's 94 for seven and David Anthony hit a two off the final ball to win it for the Donegal side.

Coleraine skipper David Cooke had said in the build-up to the weekend that his side's priority would the Premiership clash against Bready and the league leaders were fully focused on Saturday to claim a comfortable 24 points, eight wickets victory with more than six overs to spare.

On a day of rain-affected games, Bready faced only 31 overs, struggling to 99 for seven as Hume took three for 13 in nine overs, including Rankin (16) and Samarasooriya for just two, and Rishi Chopra also chipped in with two late wickets.

After the rain break Coleraine were set a modest 85 in 24 overs and got to within 15 runs of collecting full points but Lucas claimed his second wicket when he had Campbell caught for 34. Chopra though finished 29 not out from just 31 balls, including five fours.

Meanwhile Donemana, already playing catch-up in the Premiership with a game against Bready to fit in next Sunday, will have to rearrange their game at Ardmore which was abandoned after only 8.3 overs on Saturday.

It allowed Brigade to overtake them into second place after their 55 runs win over Drummond at Beechgrove. David Barr top scored with 92 in the home side's 257, outscoring Johnny Thompson (36) in a fourth wicket stand of 93 and Johnny Robinson then followed up with four for 41 as Drummond fell short.

Steven Moore's 37 was the best the basement side could manage in reply, however a last wicket stand of 39 between Stephen McCloskey and Simon Dunn denied Brigade two points.

It also ensured the gap between Drummond and the team immediately above them stayed at 29 points after Fox Lodge's four wickets defeat by Eglinton at Ballymagorry. Foxes professional Cebo Tshiki is finally running into some form and scored 65 of his side's 186 before he was one of Richard Wylie's six wickets (for 30).

The off spinner then went out and opened the batting as Eglinton were set 134 in 24 overs for victory and he put on 55 for the first wicket with Andy Millar (41). Stuart Thompson's undefeated 39 saw the visitors home with a comfortable seven overs to spare.

FAUGHAN CUP FINAL

Bready beat Coleraine by 9 wickets

Coleraine 125-6 (D Cooke 33, M Poskitt 31, R Chopra 21; I Samarasooriya 2-20, D Scanlon 2-25) Bready 126-1 (16.3 overs, I Samarassoriya 66, D Rankin 54 not out).

ERIC COOKE CUP FINAL

St Johnston beat Strabane by 2 wickets

Strabane 94-7 (20 overs, B Scott 24, K Pretorius 23; J Maruske 2-14, J Cole 2-21) St Johnston 95-8 (20 overs, I Macbeth 21; T Barr 3-27, M Snodgrass 2-10).

Belfast Telegraph

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