Main man McBrine pushes Cup kings Donemana to the four
When Donemana were eight for three, chasing 117 for victory in the Danske Bank Senior Cup final yesterday, a fourth successive triumph in the two-day showpiece was suddenly in doubt.
Step forward Andy McBrine to ease away the worries and put the Co Tyrone side in the record books, his unbeaten 65 seeing the cup kings to their seventh success out of seven finals in the last 15 years. Was it really in doubt?
McBrine's Ireland team-mate Stuart Thompson and Eglinton professional Oraine Williams caused the early mayhem, but the support just wasn't there to put Donemana under any sort of pressure - of the 14 wickets taken over the two days, the opening bowlers claimed 10 of them and they could only bowl 40 overs in the match.
In contrast, Donemana's strength in depth is legendary and not only did five bowlers share the 18 wickets but Ricky Lee Dougherty used eight bowlers in the second innings. Admittedly three of those were used trying to end the stubborn ninth wicket partnership of exactly 80, the highest of the match, and they failed as Eglinton recovered from 101 for eight to set a victory target which was never going to be straightforward.
The return of Thompson ended the fourth wicket stand between McBrine and Gary McClintock and three overs later, Williams snapped up opposite number Jan Frylinck for three, but McBrine, who had scored just five on Saturday, beat that with his final two shots, his ninth and 10th boundaries, to give Donemana the trophy in a style befitting four-time winners.
It had looked as if Donemana might not even have to bat again as Eglinton, resuming on 20 for nought, still needing 45 to make up the first innings deficit, lost five wickets for the addition of just 38, with Frylinck removing both Williams and Thompson.
But, thanks to Richard Wylie (62 off 72 balls) and Simon Olphert, they took their lead past three figures.
After those three early wickets second time around, the home crowd were ecstatic but, rightly, class won the day and Donemana will go for five senior cups in a row next year.