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Donemana crush hosts with stirring recovery

 

By Ian Callender

Donemana got their Premiership season up and running in emphatic style with a crushing victory over the team expected to be their challengers for the title.

The champions went to Beechgrove on Saturday and left with the maximum 25 points after bowling out Brigade for 120, the last nine wickets falling for 51 runs as the home side folded meekly; Gareth McKeegan was top scorer with 38.

It was a superb recovery from Donemana who lost three wickets with the score on eight - two wickets for Ryan Macbeth and one for skipper Andy Britton - but a unbeaten fifth wicket stand of 160 between professional Malith Cooray (107 not out) and Gary McClintock (98 not out) saw the visitors up to 246.

Cooray hit 12 fours and two sixes but he was outdone in the big hitting stakes by McClintock who smashed seven fours and half a dozen sixes. His attempt to hit the penultimate ball to the boundary to bring up his century only ended up as a single.

Bready are still the league leaders but they lost their 100% record to Ardmore who impressively chased 236, with six overs and two wickets to spare.

However, there is a worry for the Magheramason side and the North West Warriors as David Scanlon had to quit after bowling just seven balls with back spasms.

As a result, it was plain sailing for much of Ardmore's pursuit, reaching 216 for three, with half centuries for Steve Lazars (69), Kevin Martin (54) and Paul McDowell (53). Andy Lucas and the return of Craig Young (inset, bottom) gave them a scare as they took five wickets for 18 runs, but Ardmore scrambled over the line.

Young also top scored for Bready, from No 8, hitting 54, with eight fours while Ross Dougherty also made exactly 50.

Eglinton are in second place after beating Fox Lodge by eight wickets. All six bowlers were among the wickets as the Foxies were bowled out for 187, with skipper Brian Allen hitting 63.

A second wicket partnership of 119 between Andy Millar (84) and Mike Erlank (61 not out) ensured a straightforward chase with Ireland international Stuart Thompson hurrying the game to its conclusion in the 29th over with an unbeaten 26.

Most surprising win of the day was Coleraine's 11 runs success over Strabane at Sandel Lodge. The home side could muster only 166-8 in their 50 overs and when the Red Caps reached 136-4 victory for the visitors looked a formality.

But they lost the remaining six wickets for just 19 runs, three of them to Rishi Chopra, to give the Bannsiders their second win.

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