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Brigade at the double see off the champions challenge

By Ian Callender

Brigade all but ended Donemana's hold on the Premiership title yesterday with a second win in two days over the defending champions.

After their nine runs victory on Saturday at Beechgrove, Brigade went into the lion's den at The Holm and emerged with a three wickets win which leaves Donemana six points behind the joint leaders, having played a game more.

Matty Moran, with an astonishing 107 not out, including 11 sixes and three fours, saw Brigade home with almost nine overs to spare.

Chasing 251 for victory, Moran came to the middle at 91 for five, after Gary McClintock had taken his fourth wicket, but although he lost his captain, Gareth McKeegan, just 20 runs later, he powered on in the company of Nick Donnell who contributed 36 to the seventh wicket stand of 130.

Donnell was run out with Brigade just eight runs short of their target but the game – and the defence of their league title – was up for Donemana.

Professional Kamran Sajjid had refused to give up without a fight on Saturday, last man out to to the third ball of the last over for 120, as Donemana were bowled out for 194. The next top score was captain Richard Kee's 22 but they ultimately paid the price for their ultra-cautious start; the first five overs were maidens!

Ian McGregor batted through the Brigade innings, bringing up his 50 in the 38th over and finishing 84 not out.

At the ninth attempt, Bready finally got their first league win of the season yesterday beating Eglinton by four wickets.

An unbeaten partnership of 19 between Davy Allen and Ryan Barr saw Bready to their target of 164 with just 11 balls to spare after Warriors opening batsman David Rankin had shown off his bowling skills. He took five for 34 as Eglinton were bowled out in the 48th over, only Chris Pierce getting into the 30s.

Coleraine forced Brigade to win yesterday to join them at the top with a three wickets victory at Strabane Park on Saturday.

At 89 for six, needing 137, it was not straightforward but Gordon Cooke and Mark Averill added 42 for the seventh wicket and the Bannsiders sneaked home in the 48th over.

Glendermott are the team in Bready's sights – they actually meet in the last game of the season – and the Rectory side are now just three points ahead of them after losing by 82 runs to Eglinton.

Andy Christie (64) and Pierce shared an opening stand of 110 for the winners.

Belfast Telegraph


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