All roads led to Sion Mills on Sunday as the Tyrone club celebrated their 150th year in Irish cricket with a challenge game against the Cricket Ireland President’s Select.
Joe Doherty brought a very strong team to the Holm field in Sion and a huge crowd was regally entertained both on the field and off it. The ground was in superb condition too, courtesy of a massive effort on the part of both the players and the local community and to add to the occasion, Sion won the game as well.
President’s skipper John Mooney batted first and their innings was dominated by Eglinton’s Stuart Thompson who hit 5 sixes and 4 fours on his way to a crowd-pleasing 70. Ireland Coach Phil Simmons showed he still knows where the middle of the bat is as he made 30, and Ross Allen also added 30 as the visitors racked up 279 before declaring.
John Browne (18) and Matt Bentley (31) gave Sion a solid platform but the crowd got what they came to see when Glendermott’s Roy Silva strode to the wicket. The Sri Lankan took about 3 balls to warm up and then teed off after that with the Mill wall very firmly in his sights. So much was everyone enjoying Roy’s assault that the umpires and the odd fielder felt it best to keep him there and it was the correct decision without doubt.
Silva’s final tally was a brilliant 116 and it included 12 sixes and 8 fours, including 3 into Mrs Herdman’s front room. Simon Galloway, Ryan O’Neill and Junior McBrine all got into the act late on with the Sion skipper helping his side to record a famous last-over win to put the seal on a brilliant day.