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Simmons much happier as Scots are put to sword

By Ian Callender

National coach Phil Simmons was delighted that Ireland finished their World Cup qualifying campaign with an emphatic victory, making up for the last over, last wicket win in the first game against Scotland last week.

"It shows how much we let ourselves down on Friday," said Simmons yesterday. "We played proper cricket today and, as in the last six or eight games, someone from the top four has done well."

He also praised the contribution of Eglinton's Nigel Thompson, on his one-day international debut.

"It was nice to be able to bring in young Thompson and Eddie Richardson and the way they performed showed the depth we have in the bowling," he said.

"They've realised how good it is to be part of a winning squad and to achieve things and everybody wants to be part of that."

Captain William Porterfield added: "Stuart Thompson wasn't even in the squad two days ago (he was called in to replace the injured John Mooney) but the way he stepped up to open the bowling today and took responsibility, showed again what he can do.

"TJ (Trent Johnston) will be a big hole to fill but the talent that came in today shows there are lads champing at the bit to take his place. Hopefully they can learn as much as they can from Trent over the next few months and use that to their advantage moving forward."

Meanwhile, Coleraine made it a hat-trick of trophies without having to hit a ball in anger, as rain ruined Faughan Valley Cup finals day yesterday with both games decided by bowl-outs.

Only 24 overs play was possible at Eglinton – still 24 more than Saturday's entire senior programme in the North West and NCU – before rain cut short the Championship final between Newbuildings and Creevedonnell and preventing any play in the Premiership decider between Coleraine and Donemana.

It was not the way that Coleraine wanted to win their third trophy of the season but when Rishi Chopra hit the stumps in sudden death to give the Bannsiders a 2-1 win, the cup joined the Premiership and Ulster Cup in the pavilion cabinet.

In the first bowl-out, Newbuildings beat Creevedonnell 3-0.

The wet weekend is also threatening to play havoc with the end of the league season. The Premiership relegation showdown between Bready and Glendermott, postponed from Saturday, will now be played next Saturday with the losers dropping into the Championship and the winners facing a play-off against the second placed team in the lower section next Sunday at Strabane Park.

The two outstanding Championship games – Drummond v Killyclooney and St Johnston v Sion Mills – will be played as 20 overs games, starting tonight and to be completed by Wednesday. If Drummond and the Saints win, they will remain level on points and then meet on Saturday at The Rectory for the right to contest the promotion/relegation play-off.

Ulster Bank League Section One

At Middle Road, Carrickfergus 217-1 (20 overs, M Gilmour 90, L Deport 57 not out, M Taiaroa 56 not out) Muckamore 166-8 (B Baguley 75, N Gill 24; R Eagleston 3-13, PT Aston 2-31, S Grant 2-48). Carrickfergus won by 51 runs.

At Laurelvale, Laurelvale w/o v Woodvale.

Belfast Telegraph


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