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Brigade end Donemana's six-year Senior Cup stranglehold

By Ian Callender

Donemana's six-year reign as Bank of Ireland Senior Cup holders is over after Brigade completed a superb chase to win yesterday's semi-final at The Holm by four wickets.

In a sensational game with 89 boundaries - 31 of them sixes - and only 14 wickets, the Beechgrove side, stranded at the bottom of the Premiership table, stunned the holders by reaching their target of 287 with two overs to spare.

It means that, long-extinct, Clooney's record of six successive Cup wins from 1906-11, equalled by Donemana, cannot be beaten until at least 2024.

In the final Brigade will meet Eglinton but only after their Premiership rivals were given the fright of their lives by Championship side Newbuildings, who had been bowled out for just 80. Coasting to victory at 69-2, the visitors then lost seven ­wickets for nine runs and it needed 15-year-old Robbie Millar to hit the winning four in a match which lasted only 31 overs!

In contrast, the runs flowed all day at Donemana with North West Warriors skipper Andy McBrine leading the charge with 68 from 81 balls before skipper Ricky-Lee Dougherty and Dwayne McGerrigle served up a remarkable finish to the innings.

They put on 96 in 44 balls for the eighth wicket, Dougherty finishing 84 not out from 50 balls with three fours and nine sixes, five of them from the 49th over bowled by Brigade captain Andy Britton. McGerrigle, never a slouch, hit 43 off 24 balls with four fours and three sixes as Donemana plundered 87 from the last five overs.

But Brigade, knowing their season was on the line, matched their firepower with a thrilling chase, and actually scored one more boundary than their hosts. David Barr was the anchor and top score with 76 but the big hitting came at the end with ­Niall McDonnell, Britton and Johnny Robinson combining to score 77 from 61 balls and sharing six maximums.

SCORES: The Holm: Donemana 286-8 (50 overs, R-L Dougherty 84 not out, A McBrine 68, D McGerrigle 43, G McClintock 29, A Riddles 23; M Simpson 2-31) Brigade 292-6 (48 overs, D Barr 76, I Hussain 56, G McKeegan 33, J Robinson 23 not out, A Britton 21; A McBrine 2-29, W McBrine 2-49, J McGonigle 2-67). Brigade won by 4 wickets.

Newbuildings: Newbuildings 80 (15.3 overs, M Hanna 30 not out, S Thompson 4-23, M Erlank 3-12, R Allen 2-10) Eglinton 83-9 (15.4 overs, S Thompson 31, C Cooper 4-1, J Dunn 3-24, T McKeegan 2-31). Eglinton won by 1 wicket.s

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