Cricket: North West's top teams in a class of their own
The clear divide between the top half and the bottom five in the last 10-team North West Senior League was there for all to see on the opening day of the season with three wins by more than 100 runs and another by six wickets.
Back in the groove: Decker Curry hit 71 on his return to LimavadyTHE clear divide between the top half and the bottom five in the last 10-team North West Senior League was there for all to see on the opening day of the season with three wins by more than 100 runs and another by six wickets.
Decker Curry, at the age of 45, is already on course to score 1,000 runs for Limavady. He marked his return to the Roesiders line-up, after his six months ban, by scoring 71 from No 6 to help Limavady to 234 for nine. Richard McDaid and Andy Britton then reduced Glendermott to 15 for three and they finished 131 runs short.
Creevedonnell fared four runs better at Donemana but their first match back in the top flight in more than 30 years was a harsh return to reality. Ryan Hunter and professional Kamran Sajid put on 120 for the first wicket for the home side on their way to an imposing 279 for eight although an honourable mention must go to Ellis McGarrigle, 'Donnell’s seventh bowler, who removed both openers and bowled his 10 overs for just 20 runs.
Biggest winners of the day were Brigade who amassed 273 for nine at Beechgrove with Matty Moran opening the batting and scoring 88 from just 68 balls with 10 fours and three sixes. He, and indeed the champions, received generous help from their opponents, with Moran dropped three times and the Foxes bowling 20 wides in the first five overs. They did well in the end to restrict extras to 45 but they were still second top score.
Brigade’s strength remains their bowling and Mark Simpson and Johnny Thompson then ripped through the top order reducing Fox Lodge to 58 for seven. They never recovered and were all out for 90 in 24 overs.
Strabane had it pretty much their own way at home to Bond’s Glen whom they dismissed for 196 – a total enhanced by 18 runs because of their slow over rate - and then knocked off the runs by the start of the 39th over. Professional Faisal Iqbal finished 61 not out and the next generation of the Gillespie clan, 15 year old Aaron scored a promising 23 at No 5.
The closest game, as expected, was Bready’s three wickets success at home to Coleraine. The teams finished level on points in the middle of the table last season but only two visiting players scored more than four runs on Saturday in an innings dominated by Scott Campbell’s undefeated 109. His only support came from Craig Averill who scored 39 in a fifth wicket partnership of 140 which made up the bulk of their 193 for seven total. Aga Sabir set up the win with 61 but it was an eighth wicket partnership of 46 between Ian Young and Davy Scanlon that won it for Bready with just eight balls to spare.