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Mighty Muckamore in seventh heaven after win over Coleraine

By Ian Callender

It was NCU 4-1 North West in the first round of the Irish Cup as the Northern union piled up the proverbial football score on another nightmare day for the Warriors' club sides.

Indeed, three of the NCU victories came on the grounds of their opponents with none better than Muckamore's seven wickets success over Coleraine.

Admittedly, the Moylena side have a stronger line-up than the one relegated from the Premier League last season, with Ryan Haire making his first major impression in Muckamore colours, his unbeaten 58 seeing his team to their victory target of 127 in 34 overs with 11 balls to spare.

Muckamore, however, are keen not to rely on the 34-year-old former Ireland international, and although he also took two late wickets, the damage had been down earlier by Gary Nicholl and Richard Keates, who reduced the Bannsiders to 54 for four.

They recovered to reach 196 for eight in 50 overs, helped by a huge 40 extras - just three less than top scorer Gordon Cooke - but rain interrupted the Muckamore innings three times and although they returned after the third needing 27 off 27 balls, Haire hurried them home.

Within a mile of each other, Lisburn, emphatically, and Civil Service North, comfortably, knocked out Glendermott and Brigade respectively.

Glendermott captain Alan Johnson scored 95 off 66 balls with 14 fours and three sixes in the Rectory side's 267.

But Ricky Simpson (103 not out) and Robert Rankin (128 not out) made light of that total as Lisburn romped home by nine wickets with four overs to spare.

Civil Service North posted 178 for five at Beechgrove but after Ryan Hunter (56) and Ifti Hussain (44) got Brigade to 101 for one, not one other home batsman reached double figures and they lost their last six wickets for 17 runs as Ben Adair finished with five for 25 in eight overs.

The other NCU winners were the biggest of the day as Waringstown openers James Hall (67) and James McCollum (36) passed St Johnston's 119 in 47 overs in the 16th over. Kyle McCallan's bowling figures for Waringstown were 10-6-6-3.

Ardmore avoided a North West whitewash with a three wickets victory over Ballymena who were bowled out for 126, mainly by Gary Neely who had the remarkable figures of five for 12 from 9.5 overs. The former Ireland international then hit the winning runs after Ardmore survived a slight wobble at 101 for six.

There will be four North West teams in this week's second round draw as Bready received a walkover when Terenure refused to travel and Fox Lodge will meet Co Galway and Strabane host Railway Union on the reserve date, Saturday May 23, after their games were postponed.

CIYMS and Instonians, however, must travel to Dublin that day to face Merrion and Malahide, after Belmont and Shaw's Bridge were both unplayable and Leinster sides will be defending a 100 per cent record after all six teams won their games on Saturday.

League champions YMCA ended Woodvale's return to the big time in less than 60 overs, with a 120 runs success at Ballygomartin Road.

The Hills beat North Down by 40 runs, Pembroke defeated Eglinton by 24 runs, North County won at Donemana by 33 runs and Carrickfergus put up the best resistance before going down by seven runs at Leinster.

NORTH West Warriors have named the permitted two overseas players for their opening Hanley Energy inter-provincial Championship game against Leinster Lightning, starting at Clontarf tomorrow (11am).

Exciting South African Marco Marais and Bready professional Michael Loubser get the nod.

LEINSTER LIGHTNING: J Mooney, J Anderson, J Carroll, B Coughlan, E Delany, T Kane, F McAllister, A Poynter, E Richardson, S Singh, M Sorensen, Yaqoob Ali

NW WARRIORS: A McBrine, S Thompson, C Young, G McCarter, D Rankin, G McClintock, W McClintock, C Averill, S Campbell, R-L Dougherty, M Marais, M Loubser

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