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Donemana must take hard road to claim record seventh success

 

By Ian Callender

If Donemana are to win the Bank of Ireland Senior Cup for a record seventh successive time they will have to do it the hard way.

After defeating Strabane - the last team to beat them in the competition - on Saturday, they have been drawn away to Coleraine in the pick of next month's quarter-finals.

Ardmore host Brigade the day after the teams meet in the Premiership at Beechgrove, while there is certain to be a Section One team in the last four after Ballyspallen meet Newbuildings. The other game is between Eglinton and Fox Lodge, who meet in the league next weekend.

All games will be played on Sunday, June 17, the date of the Irish Cup second round, but almost as if the Union predicted their clubs' fate, Strabane will be the only North West team involved in the all-Ireland competition.

The Red Caps yesterday won their first Premiership game of the season, moving them into third place, after chasing down Ardmore's 273-5 for the loss of six wickets with 13 balls to spare thanks to Peter Gillespie, who still holds the record for the fast est century by an Ireland player.

That was 13 years ago but he still proved he can score quickly, hitting an unbeaten 71, from just 46 balls, with seven fours and three sixes in a sixth wicket stand of 103 with Khushpal Purewal-Singh. Gillespie also top scored on Saturday, hitting 59 in Strabane's total of 188 but the cup holders needed only 32 overs to reach their target, with professional Malith Cooray finishing 79 not out.

The innings of the day was played by Ireland Test player Stuart Thompson who was definitely in one-day mode with a sensational 160 not out, from 109 balls with 12 fours and eight sixes in Eglinton's 340-4 against Killyclooney. Thompson was joined at the fall of the fourth wicket by Jamie Millar and together they put on 231, with Millar hitting 13 fours and three sixes in his 108 not out.

Yesterday's scores: Strabane Park: Ardmore 273-5 (50 overs, G Mokoena 70, D Curry 60, P McDowell 37, S Lazars 31, G Neely 30 not out, P Harrigan 21 not out; R Gallagher 2-53) Strabane 276-6 (47.5 overs, P Gillespie 71 not out, C Peiris 57, R Logue 54, K Purewal-Singh 46; D Anthony 3-57). Strabane (22 pts) beat Ardmore (3 pts) by 4 wickets.

Senior Cup Quarter-final draw: Ballyspallen v Newbuildings, Eglinton v Fox Lodge, Coleraine v Donemana, Ardmore v Brigade. All games on June 17.

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