Silverware for Bready and St Johnston

Thursday, 20 July 2017

Silverware for Bready and St Johnston thumbnailSt Johnston's David Lapsley lifts the Eric Cooke Plate trophy aloft. (Photo by CricketEurope)

A BIG turnout at Bready for Sunday's North West T20 final couldn't have hoped for better weather or a better start to the day as St Johnston and Strabane served up a cracking Eric Cooke Memorial Cup final.

Both sides struggled to cope with what appeared to be a fairly slow track early on and although Red Caps' skipper Barry Scott made 24 and Kevin Pretorius 23 at the top of the order, nothing was happening in a hurry.

Jacob Maruske (2-14) and Josh Cole (2-21) fared best for the Saints but in truth nobody went around the park as Strabane's effort closed on 94-7.

The Donegal side fared little better as their reply got bogged down too- Ian Macbeth (21) and Michael Rankin the best of it as Tommy Barr (3-27), Mark Snodgrass (2-10) and Ryan Gallagher kept things really tight throughout.

It was to be in the field in the last 2 overs that the Park side let it slip and with 19 needed from there, and 12 from the last, the Saints hit the winning runs off the final ball of the match.

The second final was a lot less enthralling as Bready turned the tables in convincing fashion on a Coleraine team who had thumped them in the league just 24 hours earlier.

A 58-run stand between skipper David Cooke (33) and Marcus Poskitt (31) looked set to tee Coleraine up for a big total before Iroosh Samarasooriya (2-20) and Davy Scanlon (2-25) and quite possibly the pick of the bowlers Andy Lucas (1-8 from 3 overs) clawed the home side back into it.

Having looked likely to get near 150 early on the Bannsiders had to finally settle for 125 for 6, and it wasn't enough.

Graham Hume struck early to dismiss Kyle Hamilton and spectators would have felt it was game on at that point-however the hosts never lost another wicket after that.

Samarasooriya made it a day to remember for himself as he hit an unbeaten 66 while David Rankin finished 54 not out as those two closed out a thoroughly impressive win.

Glorious sunshine, upwards of 400 paying spectators and a really family-friendly day will have left the North West Union feeling pretty pleased with themselves as they now set their sights on the upcoming Senior Cup showpiece.


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