Donemana's bowlers leave Bready in a spin
Donemana's remarkable Bank of Ireland Senior Cup record just goes on and on. It is seven years since they lost a match before the final and they eased into yet another one on Saturday, with a crushing 133 runs victory over Bready.
The holders lost two wickets for two runs in the first two overs but still totalled 279-8 with a century from Imran Butt (105) backed up by the returning Andy McBrine (66) and William McClintock (68).
Bready, the last team to beat Donemana in the cup — in the 2011 two-day final — were then undone by spin with McBrine (4-17), Dad Junior (3-17) and Jordan McGonigle (3-33) sharing the wickets.
Their opponents on July 28-29 at Beechgrove will be Championship side Ballyspallen who, amazingly, were 141 runs better than Fox Lodge, who they bowled out for 77. That was 16 less than Craig Averill made for the home side whose last appearance in the final was in 2005.
In the NCU Instonians all but gave up their defence of the Gardiner Bros Premier League title on Saturday with defeat at CIYMS who moved eight points clear of their opponents in a three-way tie at the top
In a repeat of their previous defeat at home to Lisburn, they got to within 65 runs of victory with nine wickets in hand and lost, comfortably.
A second wicket stand of 178 between James Shannon (112) and Andrew White (73) put them within touching distance of drawing level with CI in the table but from 193-1 they crashed to 227-7, in vain pursuit of 258, three wickets in successive balls, the last a suicidal run-out, settling their fate.
CI, though, are firmly in title contention after a third successive league win and a bowling attack which is the envy of all their rivals. So when their strong top order batting clicks they invariably win and against Instonians it was John Matchett (86) who continued his impressive form this season.
Although CI lost their first three wickets for four runs after an opening stand of 145, they still reached 257-9 without moving through the gears. Indeed, if Shane Getkate (5-51) had not dismissed Nigel Jones and Matt McGillivray in the 47th over Instonians would have been chasing even more – and the margin of defeat would probably have been even bigger.
At the other end of the table, Muckamore despite their promising start, have been dragged into the relegation zone after a fourth straight league defeat. They restricted Carrickfergus to 175-9 but from 84-3 they were bowled out for 115 inside 30 overs as Arvind Shetty (5-34) wreaked havoc.
Lisburn remain favourites for the drop after another desperate batting performance. Two weeks after they were dismissed for 64, they could manage only 108 against Civil Service North with skipper Adam Berry scoring 55 of them! Wayne Horwood and James Kennedy then knocked off the runs in 14.4 overs.