Hume and Cooke to the rescue for Bannsiders
It looks like the new points system in the North West will only make the differential between the teams look even bigger.
With up to 25 points for a win, defending champions Donemana and Coleraine have opened up a 40 points gap over third place Brigade and they, in turn, are 22 clear of fourth place.
It is as you were after Saturday's fifth round of Long's SuperValu Premiership games with Coleraine gaining a point on Donemana after a six wickets win over Fox Lodge.
In the end it was a perfectly timed chase by the Bannsiders but at 56 for four, in pursuit of the Foxes 228-5, a first league defeat for the Bannsiders was the talk of Ballymagorry. Step forward professional Graham Hume to join that old warhorse, Gordon Cooke, and they reached their target without further loss, with eight balls to spare.
Hume finished 99 not out with 11 fours and two sixes, while former Ireland international Cooke, who will be 42 next month, was 80 not out with 12 fours.
The only century of the match came on the losing side, with Brian Allen reaching 102 (11 fours and four sixes), while Dean Mehaffey finished 76 not out. Not a good day for the bowlers.
Indeed, only two of the eight teams were bowled out, one of them being Drummond, by Donemana, for 192 with William McClintock taking four for 37. Chris Moore top scored for the home side with 71 and shared a second wicket stand of 130 with Adam McDaid (57) but Drummond slumped from 134-1 to 142 for five and it then a question of batting the overs, the last wicket a run out from the final ball.
It was never straightforward for Donemana as they were reduced to 135 for five but Andy Riddles (54), Kyle Dougherty and Junior McBrine saw them home by four wickets in the 46th over.
Only 11 wickets fell at Magheramason where Brigade won their first league game since May 6, chasing down Bready's 246-7 with 19 balls to spare.
Andrew Austin, feeling much more at home after his inter-provincial debut in Oakhill, dominated the Bready innings before he was run out for 90, but David Barr (74) and Gareth McKeegan (69) put on 120 for the first Brigade wicket and Chris Dixon and Andy Britton (37 not out) an unbeaten 61 for the fifth wicket.
Eglinton were the other team bowled out in their unsuccessful chase of Ardmore's 262-6, despite Stuart Thompson's superb effort. The Ireland international hit 108 but after his dismissal, Gary Neely (5-36) and Rameez Alam (4-62) cleaned up the tail, the last four wickets falling for 13 to leave them 29 runs short.
Earlier, Alam had scored 150 not out with 18 fours and five sixes, his third 50 from 14 balls.