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Waringstown stay on course to make history with Ulster Cup success

 

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Waringstown captain Craig Thompson celebrates winning the Ulster Cup in 2017.

Waringstown captain Craig Thompson celebrates winning the Ulster Cup in 2017.

Waringstown captain Craig Thompson celebrates winning the Ulster Cup in 2017.

For the second time in two days, Waringstown celebrated a cup victory and yesterday they had a trophy to show for their efforts.

The Ulster Cup final win over Bready, at Comber, extended their unbeaten run in all competitions to nine and keeps them on course for an incredible five-timer, with the All-Ireland T20 crown, the Irish Cup and the Premier League title all still in their sights. On yesterday's evidence they are favourites for them all.

Two easy semi-final victories yesterday for Waringstown over Coleraine and Bready against hosts North Down set up the final clash between the NCU and North West T20 champions but, such is the villagers' dominance at the moment that the final proved another stroll in the park.

Bready had done well to keep Greg Thompson's all-conquering side to 158 for seven - they scored only 52 in the last seven overs - but even if they had stopped after 11 overs of their innings, Waringstown would still have had enough runs on the board. Bready were bowled out for 79.

Coincidentally, it was only 11 overs that Waringstown needed to breeze past Coleraine's 100 for six in their semi-final at Saintfield - the Bannsiders hit 18 off the last over just to reach three figures! - with James Hall and Lee Nelson knocking off the last 63 runs in 32 balls.

Bready were just as convincing in their first game at The Green, restricting North Down to 119 for nine and with David Rankin hitting 58 off 51 balls and Irosh Samarasooriya 36 off 35, the Magheramason side romped home with seven wickets and 19 balls to spare.

At half-time in the final, Bready probably thought they had an evens chance but Rankin was dismissed in the second over and their Sri Lankan professional in the fifth and every bowler that Thompson (right, with the Ulster Cup) called on, came up trumps with Nelson even on a hat-trick.

James McCollum was whipped off after conceding 12 runs but his solitary over included the wicket of Samarasooriya and after that it was the spin trio of Gary Kidd, Kyle McCallan and Nelson who did the rest.

Kidd won the only leg before decision of the day, and was also the only Waringstown bowler to hit the stumps in the final, albeit from a reverse sweep by Craig Young, again only allowed to play as a batsman.

But they say catches win matches and virtually everything went to hand and as luck - or not - would have it Bready have been drawn against Waringstown in next Sunday's All-Ireland semi-final.

Ulster Cup semi-finals: At Saintfield: Coleraine 100-6 (20 overs, D Cooke 27 not out, S Lazars 24; J Mitchell 2-17, L Nelson 2-31) Waringstown 103-1 (11 overs, J Hall 41 not out, L Nelson 33 not out, A Dennison 23). Waringstown won by 9 wickets.

Comber: North Down 119-9 (20 overs, P Eakin 50, N Burns 32; A Lucas 3-17, I Samarasooriya 2-17, D Scanlon 2-23, D Rankin 2-23) Bready 121-3 (16.5 overs, D Rankin 58, I Samarasooriya 36). Bready won by 7 wickets

Final: Waringstown 158-7 (G Thompson 32, J Hall 31, S Khan 25, M McClean 25; R Kelly 2-30, A Lucas 2-33) Bready 79 (14.4 overs, L Nelson 3-11, G Kidd 3-16, K McCallan 2-14). Waringstown won by 59 runs

Ulster Shield final

Strabane Park: Strabane 156-5 (20 overs; A Barr 59, K Pretorius 34, R Gallagher 20, N Cole 2-18, D Anthony 2-29) St Johnston 156-4 (20 overs; D Lapsley 74 not out, M Rankin 30, D Mcabeth 22, J Macbeth 20). Match tied. Strabane 8-0 beat St Johnston 7-1 in a super over.

Belfast Telegraph