NW CRICKET: Thompson inspires Eglinton to cup success

Eglinton side and back-room team celebrate winning the Faughan Valley Cup after defeating Brigade by seven wickets.

Eglinton side and back-room team celebrate winning the Faughan Valley Cup after defeating Brigade by seven wickets.

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Eglinton skipper Stuart Thompson admits he’s back enjoying his cricket.

The Ireland international played his part in Eglinton’s surprisingly one-sided Friendly Financial Faughan Valley Cup Final victory over Brigade, at Beechgrove, last night.

Thompson, who only returned to the game recently after receiving treatment for performance anxiety, admits he’s back enjoying the sport.

“I’m just playing with a smile on face and I got a little bit of confidence back too, which always helps,” he said.

“But yeah I’m enjoying my cricket, I’m enjoying playing for Eglinton and hopefully leading us to trophies and taking that responsibility, but playing with a smile on face has made a massive difference.”

Two wickets apiece from Thompson (2-5) and Mark Averill (2-9) saw Brigade restricted to a desperately disappointing 71 for 8 in their 15 overs.

Iftikhar Hussain top scored with 19 and skipper Andy Britton hit 14 as Brigade could only muster 71 for 8.

Eglinton’s reply stuttered to 17 for 3, but an unbroken fourth wicket stand of 55 between Thompson, who hit 39 not out, and Craig Averill (14*), saw the Villagers race to the win with seven wickets and 27 balls left to spare.

Skipper Thompson now wants the squad to focus and push on in their attempts to win the Long’s Supervalu Premier League title.

Eglinton are currently join top with Ardmore and Coleraine with four games remaining.

“It’s very good to get the win, it’s our first trophy of the season and now we can push on for the league,” he added.

“We do have a difficult run-in, but I think if we play the way we can play, then there’s no reason why we can’t win our next four games.

“That’s all it is now, it’s four cup finals in a row, I know it’s a cliche but it’s one game as it comes as Sir Alex (Ferguson) once said.”

The North West Warriors all-rounder scored an impressive 39 not out and secured the cup with two magnificent blows for six.

“I think the score-board flattered us, it was a tough wicket to play on, but I think we did play sensibly and the little flourish at the end was a reflection of how well we played at the start of the innings,” he added.

“I knew I had the base to do it and then had the confidence to do it; I got a nice full toss second ball, so yeah I was happy enough.”