Newbuildings and Ballyspallen both recorded second wins of the season on Saturday to move alongside Fox Lodge at the top of the Long’s SuperValu Championship table.
Dale Culbert’s side travelled to Killyclooney for one of the very few matches that were unaffected by rain and returned home with the points in a comfortable 5-wicket win. Not for the first time it was overseas man, Peat Salmon, who paved the way for the success- the Jamaican in top form again with both bat and ball.
Mattie Barr top scored for the home side with 44 while William Finlay made an unbeaten 33 as the youngster continued his good start to life in the senior ranks. Richard McMorris and Andre Henry chipped in with 31 and 30 respectively in a total of 209 all out.
Salmon, coincidentally a team-mate of Henry’s at the St Catherine’s club in the West Indies picked up another ‘fivefor’.
Teenager Trent McKeegan - another youngster with a bright future - claimed four wickets.
Newbuildings’ strength seems to be their batting these days and they made light of the chase with David Robb helping Salmon to ease to the target.
Both players scored 72 in the reply - Robb unbeaten at the end - after Dean Mehaffey had earlier made 21.
The Newbuildings’ professional’s knock was typically aggressive - 7 sixes and 4 fours included- as they ran out comfortable winners.
Henry claimed three wickets for ’Clooney but it wasn’t enough as they fell to a second defeat in three matches.
Ballyspallen had an emphatic 81 runs (DLS) to spare over St Johnston in a match cut short by the elements.
Alan Macbeth top scored with 36 for the Donegal side with cameos from Nathan Cole and Jack Macbeth among others in their 175 all out.
Creighton Wilson claimed four wickets and Graham Kennedy three in a solid effort in the field from the hosts.
Former Brigade man Ivan Hill-Nicholl helped get ’Spallen’s reply off to a scorching start as he made 81, and with Stephen Kennedy chipping in with an unbeaten 44, they had matters well in hand when the rain came.
After 28 overs the hosts were 147-1; 81 runs ahead of the par score of 66, and that was to be that as the weather closed in.
No results were possible in the other two games - there were just 3 overs bowled at Ballymagorry before time was called in the Foxies game with Bonds Glen although Glendermott and Burndennett managed a couple of hours before they too had to call it a day.
Skipper Alan Johnson had made 46 and professional Azeem Ghumman 42 not out as the Rectory side had reached 140 for 5 after 34 overs in the second of those matches, Stephen McCay had picked up three wickets and Eddie McGettigan two before play was abandoned and the teams now have to do it all again in the next fortnight.