Hamilton experience trumps youth in Bready win
Veteran Trevor Hamilton rolled back the years for Bready yesterday as teenager Ben Mills just failed to give Glendermott a dramatic victory in the most exciting Long's SuperValu Premiership game of the season.
Mills, who will play his first Senior Cup final on Friday, was five years from being even thought of when Hamilton was receiving his first winners' medal in 1996 but, with Glendermott needing eight to win from the last over, Hamilton restricted Mills and No.11 Reece Laird to just two from the first five balls.
So, it was Hamilton v Mills for the final delivery but although the youngster made a superb connection, his attempt to win the match with a six fell a couple of yards short of the boundary.
Laird had joined Mills with 27 still needed for victory after Mills and Ryan Barr had put on 53 for the ninth wicket. But although time ran out for Glendermott, it will send them into the two-day final against Brigade in great heart after coming so close.
It had been a virtual one-man performance with the bat in Bready's 271-6 with professional Irosh Samarasooriya, who came to the middle at 14-2, scoring 164 not out from 143 balls, with 19 fours and five sixes. The next best score was David Rankin's 27.
The defeat, however, dropped Glendermott into the relegation play-off place with just three games remaining, because Strabane leapfrogged them with a 92-run victory over basement side Coleraine, who must win at least two of their last three games to avoid the drop. Bready's win keeps them fourth, but just five points behind Eglinton and Donemana who were involved in the other exciting finish on Saturday.
When Jordan McGonigle joined Billy Dougherty, Donemana were 195-8, chasing Eglinton's 217. They were within two runs of the total, when Lee Ritchie had Dougherty caught in the 38th over and two balls later he bowled No.11 William McBrine to claim the 20 points and draw them level with their hosts.
However, both teams are now 92 points behind Brigade who, despite beating Ballyspallen by seven wickets, must keep the champagne on ice as Eglinton and Bready have still to play their outstanding game, provisionally arranged for Sunday.
But no matter the result, if Brigade beat Donemana at The Holm on Saturday week, they will be crowned champions for the first time since 2011.
Meanwhile, Ireland Under-19s go into the third match of the World Cup qualifying tournament against hosts Holland today with a 100 per cent record.
They followed up their opening day win against Jersey with an even more emphatic 132-run victory against Denmark on Saturday.
Nathan McGuire hit 105 from 113 balls in Ireland's 278-6 and the 16-year old Rush all-rounder then opened the bowling and took a wicket with his third ball to put the Danes on the back foot.
They never threatened to get close with the YMCA spin twins, Mitchell Thompson and Jamie Forbes, sharing six wickets, 15-year-old slow left-armer Forbes taking his tally to seven in the first two games.
Only three northern players made the starting XI with James Hunter, who also bowled four overs, making 19 at No.8 while Olly Metcalfe scored 18 and McGuire's opening partner Marcus Poskitt 11.
Ireland need another win today before they face what is likely to be the hardest match, against Scotland tomorrow.