When Ryan Barr hit the winning runs to earn Bready their first league win of the season against Eglinton on Sunday you could sense a huge collective sigh of relief enveloping the Magheramason venue.
Make no mistake about it, Bready are still in deep trouble but having lost to Fox Lodge on Saturday, anything other than a win against the villagers would all but have condemned the 2011 Senior Cup winners to Championship cricket next season.
The Fox Lodge result coupled with Eglinton’s victory at home to Glendermott 24 hours earlier had meant that going into Sunday’s crucial matches, Bready’s only hope of survival was to win three of their last six games and hope that Glendermott don’t win again for the rest of the season. Complicating matters is the fact that of their remaining fixtures- three are against the current joint league leaders- two against Coleraine but before those they play Brigade this coming Saturday.
The final two games of the season are the return game at Eglinton and then what could be an almighty final day tussle at home to the side they need to catch, Glendermott. And while skipper David Scanlon was buoyant at their first league points of the season he remained under no illusions about the work that needed to be done between now and then.
“Realistically now we are aiming for the end of season play-off as I don’t imagine that Donemana are going to go the rest of the season without winning again. Glendermott’s tie with Strabane gives them an advantage and means we have to win at the very least one of our next four matches before we play them at our place on the last day of the season.
“The bottom line for us this year is that we struggled to put out a first choice team for much of the season for one reason or another coupled with the fact that we lost several quality players before it started.