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Top ‘Marks’ for Bready 2nd XI

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BREADY’S 2nd XI added the Qualifying 1 league trophy to their O’Neill’s Ulster Plate success at the weekend to complete what has been an excellent campaign for Mark Olphert’s team.

Saturday’s scheduled match against Fox Lodge was a victim of last week’s rain but the players were happy to gather at the club later in the afternoon where they were presented with the trophy by North West President, Connie McAllister.

The Magheramason men fell just short of a clean sweep when beaten by a Junior McBrine- inspired Donemana in the Q1 cup final last month but the skipper was delighted with their season’s work nonetheless.

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“The league was our priority at the start of the season and while it was great to get a cup run and a fantastic achievement to win the Ulster Plate- this was the trophy we wanted most.”

“We have a really good balance in the side with players who have been around here for a few years now offering their experience to the young lads who are starting to make their way in the game. We knew we had a good chance of picking up silverware this season and I’m delighted that we’ve got our just rewards.”

“The young players will have a season more experience under their belts next year and that can only be good for the whole club because they will be ready to step up again before long. For now however they can celebrate a job well done and it has been a pleasure to captain such a competitive side throughout the summer.”

All or nothing for Donemana

THE anticipated title showdown between Donemana and Brigade at the Holm last weekend never even threatened to materialise after a midweek thunderstorm transformed the village venue into a small lake heading into Saturday.

The washout didn’t particularly suit either team; or at least certainly not Brigade, albeit Andy Britton’s men are still very much in the running for the title.

Subject to ratification by the North West at a meeting this week the predicted scenario is that if Donemana win at Ardmore on Saturday they will add the league title to their senior cup success. If they lose however then Ardmore, Brigade and Coleraine would go to a three-way head-to-head count and then if they still can’t be split- net run  
rate.

Given the current standings, Gary Neely’s team would need to record a massive win on Saturday to overtake the Waterside men on the latter. It is all quite complicated and indeed even if Donemana win, it will still only be head-to-head and net run rate that will separate them from Brigade and Coleraine.

Skipper Ricky-Lee Dougherty and William McBrine were both set to miss last weekend’s game due to holiday however both will be back in good time for Saturday’s finale.

It all looks set to be an exciting end to what has been a frustrating summer- weather permitting.

Sion eye Senior return

IT has been a really decent season for Sion Mills so far but it has the potential to become a lot better when the Tyrone team line up in this year’s Championship promotion/relegation play-off against Bonds Glen at Ardmore on Sunday.

There has been a bit of activity within the village in recent weeks regarding Sion’s football team however according to club captain Simon Galloway, they have their eyes fixed on the forthcoming play-off and nothing else.

“We’re obviously aware of whatever goes on in and around the village but there have been no immediate repercussions anywhere else and we’ve heard nothing to suggest that there will be,” began the skipper.

While Sion’s ground situation is stable if not secure, their performances on the field obviously haven’t been affected by any of the uncertainty. Asked if he felt that his side had now gone half-way towards achieving their goal for 2016 however, the ‘keeper/batsman wasn’t so sure.

“ We’ve had a very good season, yes, but like most teams the ultimate goal was probably to win the league outright and be promoted automatically. Even so, we’ve won 10 matches and tied another and that has taken us to second place and into the play-off, so we’re delighted with that in such a tough division.”

“ To be honest our bowling has usually been our strongest suit recently, however there has been a genuine improvement in our batting this season so we feel that we’re now moving in the right direction.”

And as for Sion’s opponents in the shoot-out, Galloway maintained that it hadn’t mattered one iota to them who it was to be against.

“At one point it looked it might be Burndennett, then St Johnston and obviously now it’s Bonds Glen. It genuinely didn’t matter to us who we would play because it’s hardly a million years ago since we were playing them all anyway.”

“We’re a better team now than we were 2-3 years ago even though we’ve lost a couple of players since. The young lads who were on the fringe of the first team then came in to cover and have now had a couple of seasons playing against the likes of Junior and James McBrine, Mark Simpson and many others who regularly play in the Premiership.”

“ We have benefited from that and the confidence of winning means that we go into Sunday with absolutely no inferiority complex. I understand that we’re the underdogs in nearly everyone’s book but I can tell you we don’t feel like that.”

The Sion captain confirmed that he had his regular panel of players to choose from ahead of the game and admitted that everyone was really looking forward to the occasion.

“We obviously don’t have that big of a squad so we’ll be relying on the players who have done so well this summer for one last push on Sunday. Trust me, we’re not out of this” he concluded.

Pending confirmation then the play-off will take place this Sunday at Ardmore starting at 12 noon.

 

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