Waterside men Newbuildings showed that there dramatic improvement as the season has progressed continued as they booked their place in the Sammy Jeffrey Cup Final.
Just like fellow cup finalists Creevedonnell they also recorded a really emphatic win on Saturday, beating Glendermott by a full 175 runs.
Peat Salmon was on the money again here, hitting 3 fours and 6 sixes in his 88 while Peter Allen had 5 fours and a six in his 70.
Gordon Montgomery claimed figures of 5-62 but having only managed 64 runs in their first 25 overs; Newbuildings upped the ante in the second half to close on 225 for 9.
The Rectory men’s reply was truly forgettable however; Stuart Cochrane’s 14 the best of it as they were dismissed for just 50. Graeme Robb (5-27) and Ross Hunter (4-22) did the damage as Newbuildings went through to their first Sammy Jeffrey final.
It is turning into a very decent season for Wes Ferguson’s boys and after being pitched in at the deep end with opening games against Fox Lodge and Drummond they have really started to find their feet.
While both clubs will be keen to play down the importance of their respective overseas players you have to imagine that both will be a major factor in a two-innings final.
Salmon may be less experienced than Symes but the West Indian has a growing band of admirers in the region at present.
He plays an aggressive, flowing brand of cricket and if he gets going on what is sure to be a good batting track he could leave Creevedonnell with a mountain to climb.
Either way we’ll take a closer look at the decider itself nearer the time but congratulations to both teams on winning through.
’Donnell’s Brian Dougherty is already playing mind games
“Newbuildings will probably start slight favourites for the final but there isn’t much between the sides,” stated Dougherty.
“I’m happy that spectators will have the chance to see both Jean Symes and Peat Salmon in a two-innings match although there are a lot of very good players on both sides.
“Jean has done more than just bring runs to Creevedonnell - he has also instilled a lot of confidence in the rest of the team. Trevor Dougherty, Stephen Scroggie, Leighton McGarrigle and Kyle Culbert are just some of the players who have improved for Jean’s arrival.
“We were clearly struggling before he came and we’re a couple of league wins away from safety yet but he has been a superb addition for us. Hopefully we’ll see the best of him at Eglinton next month.”