NW CRICKET: Marais in top form as Foxies reach last four

Bonds Glen batsman Graham Boyd pictured in action against Fox Lodge on Sunday. INLS2916-115KM
Bonds Glen batsman Graham Boyd pictured in action against Fox Lodge on Sunday. INLS2916-115KM

was a case of ‘hook or by crook’ for the first round Sammy Jeffrey ties over the past few days with the semi-final line up now complete after second attempts to decide the winners.

St Johnston had already beaten Glendermott 2-1 in a bowl-out last weekend and they will now play Ballyspallen who came through in bizarre fashion at Killyclooney on Friday night.

Centuries for the brothers Moan - Darren with 119 and Giles an unbeaten 114 had helped ’Clooney to 260-6 in their 38 overs on Thursday after play was washed out on the first evening, and when the rain returned on the third and decisive night the hosts had no alternative to scratch the ‘tons’ and head for a bowl-out.

And Moan’s men’s misery was to be completed as they lost the ‘lottery’ on a score of 2-1, sending the visitors through into the last four.

The other two ties were decided on Sunday - in form Fox Lodge recorded a massive 135 - run win over Bonds Glen, while Newbuildings edged out Burndennett in a low-scoring encounter up in Tyrone.

Marco Marais was in top form for the Foxies, who have secured seven league wins in a row and sit top of the Championship table, as they made 255 all out - the South African hitting 9 fours and 8 sixes in his 131.

Marco has played a much more subtle role so far this season but he never gave a chance here as the visitors’ bowlers all struggled.

Dean McCarter fared next best with 30 while David Robinson the most successful bowler taking 3-31.

The Bee Gees have struggled with the bat this season and it was more of the same here.

Three players made it to 20 but nobody went beyond, while Luke Hayes doesn’t seem to have been affected by the weather break as he bagged another four-wicket haul.

A final total of 120 left Graham Boyd’s team well adrift at the end while the Championship leaders can now look forward to a home semi-final against Newbuildings on Saturday.

Dale Culbert’s men only just came out the right side of a turgid affair at Burndennett on Sunday in a game where runs were hard come by.

Gerard McAuley’s 18 was the best of ’Dennett’s 94 all out as the batsmen struggled against Trent McKeegan and Ross Hunter who claimed three wickets apiece, and Jason Brown who added 2 for 2.

Any thoughts that it would turn into a romp were soon dispelled however as Mark Roulston helped himself to a ‘fivefor’ in the reply.

With wickets tumbling the away side just managed to fall over the line- Mark Hanna’s 21 best of their winning chase.