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Riddles forced to step aside after heart attack

 

By Ian Callender

A week before their attempt to win a sixth successive North West Senior Cup final, Donemana have been rocked by the news that opening batsman Tom Riddles has been forced to retire because of a heart problem.

The 30-year old took ill after last Saturday's abandoned game against Ardmore and, after two nights in hospital undergoing tests, doctors told him he had suffered a mini heart attack and advised him to give up playing sport.

Indeed, they went as far to say that he was lucky he batted for only eight overs - he was 33 not out when rain ended play - as any more exercise could have proved fatal.

Recently married and with a young child, all cricketers in the North West wish Tom all the best.

Donemana have two games before they take on Ballyspallen in next week's cup final, and if they beat both Eglinton tomorrow and Bready on Sunday it will be enough to propel them back to second place at least - they would hit the top if leaders Coleraine slip up at home to Ardmore.

Jamie Huey will replace Riddles and Levi Dougherty is likely to face Eglinton with Gary McClintock unavailable.

Meanwhile, North West Warriors head south today for their penultimate Inter-provincial Trophy game against Leinster Lightning with a familiar problem - an under-strength squad.

Johnny Thompson, Andy Britton and the McClintock twins are all unavailable for this evening's clash at Merrion, but on the bright side they can welcome back skipper Andy McBrine, Craig Young and in-form Aaron Gillespie for the game which could decide this year's Twenty20 title.

Unless Warriors can upset the favourites, then Lightning can celebrate their third successive crown, even before the final game against the Munster Reds in three weeks' time.

Lightning: J Anderson (capt), A Balbirnie, P Chase, G Delany, G Dockrell, T Kane, K O'Brien, E Richardson, S Singh, M Sorensen, S Terry, L Tucker

Warriors: A McBrine (capt), R Allen, RL Dougherty, A Gillespie, A Heywood, G Kennedy, S Lazars, D Rankin, J Robinson, I Samarasooriya, S Thompson, C Young.

FIXTURES - Tonight (5.00): Leinster Lightning v North West Warriors (Merrion)

Tomorrow: Long's SuperValu Premiership: Brigade v Fox Lodge, Coleraine v Ardmore, Drummond v Bready, Eglinton v Donemana. Sunday: Donemana v Bready

Championship: Ballyspallen v St Johnston, Bonds Glen v Killyclooney, Newbuildings v Glendermott, Strabane v Burndennett.

Sunday: Bonds Glen v St Johnston

Sunday: Sam Jeffrey Shield quarter-final: Glendermott v Ballyspallen

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