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Brigade humbled by noisy neighbours

By Ian Callender

It wasn't supposed to start like this for Brigade. The North West Premiership favourites had been the biggest movers and shakers over the winter with five players out and six players in, determined to regain the league title they 'loaned' to Donemana last year.

But Glendermott, their noisy neighbours up the road in Londonderry, returned home with the first two points of the season, dismissing Gareth McKeegan's side for 84 in 21.2 overs.

Brigade were only chasing 126 after Andy Britton, one of five debutants, took four wickets and long-serving former captain Mark Simpson had figures of two for 10 from eight overs.

But despite coasting to 53 for two, Brigade collapsed to a humiliating defeat.

Glendermott's victory immediately puts the pressure on Eglinton, their main rivals in the fight against the drop, who managed two more runs than Brigade but conceded 227 for eight to Coleraine for the biggest defeat of the opening day.

It was another former Brigade player, Niall McDonnell, who scored the first century of the season, his 104 more than the other nine Coleraine batsmen totalled together.

Continuing the Brigade theme, Ifti Hussain, one of the players to leave, scored 60 for Fox Lodge but champions Donemana got off to a winning start by 16 runs at Ballymagorry, while Strabane, without Decker Curry who was not fit enough to make his debut and, indeed, has hinted at retirement, impressively beat Bready by four wickets, chasing 199.

And it was more comfortable than the margin suggests thanks to a third-wicket stand of 156 between Peter Gillespie and Zimbabwe Under 19 captain Matthew Bentley. Peter Connell took three for 30 on his Strabane debut .

Belfast Telegraph


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