The North West cricket season got underway on Saturday and the Long’s Supervalu Premiership champions Strabane started with a defeat.
The match of the day at Beechgrove where Donemana were the visitors produced a nail-biting finish.
Donemana batting first scored 224 for nine with skipper Richard Kee top scoring with 80, Brigade fell 12 runs short with Ian McGregor in fine form scoring 88.
An even tighter finish at Ardmore saw the home side score 189 for 9. Decker Curry, with a patient 70, was their main run getter. In reply Strabane were just 3 runs short thanks to 68 from Ryan Gallagher.
Title favourites Coleraine had a comfortable seven wicket victory at Eglinton. The Villagers scored 148 with Craig Averill with 72 the only batsman to show any form. The Bannsiders took just 25 overs to get the required runs with professional Kyllin Vardhan hitting 66.
Newly promoted St Johnston look like having a difficult season as they travelled to Bready. The home side scored 281 for 9 with their South African professional Michael Loubser helping himself to a century, before bowling the Saints out for just 64.
There is a full set of league fixtures this Saturday.
Eglinton v Ardmore
Christopher Pierce’s side had a disappointing opening day defeat, to many of their batsmen let them down with three of them failing to trouble the scorers, they will be hoping for a big improvement this time round.
Ardmore began with a victory with Decker Curry once again the star with the bat however they will be a little concerned that only three of their batsmen managed to get into double figures.
St Johnston v Donemana
The Donegal men saw last week what a big step it is coming into the Premiership, they will hope to have Ryan Patton available for this one, their young players are going to have to step up to the plate immediately.
Donemana missing a couple of regulars in their win at Brigade showed that they are going to be a force to be reckoned with yet again, their professional Jan Frylinck looked to be more than useful with both bat and ball.
Coleraine v Bready
The Bannsiders showed in their opening game why they are many peoples favourites for the title, they look strong in all departments and Kyllian Vardhan especially looking in good nick.
Bready didn’t have to come out of second gear last Saturday, they have a decent side but this will be a lot bigger test than their opening game, however skipper David Scanlon is confident that his side can finish in the top four.
Strabane v Brigade
Both these sides suffered defeats last week, the Red Caps have a very changed side from last season, but there is still talent there although they don’t look strong enough to mount a serious challenge for silverware.
Gareth McKeegan’s Brigade sides batting let them down badly last week with only three players managing to get into double figures with two of them scoring 138 of their 212 total, they must improve this time round.