Mattie Moran may well have dreamt of posting the winning run in this year’s Senior Cup Final after his side dominated the first innings, but the Brigade batsman would surely never have imagined that it would be his wide ball that would spark a long night of celebration at the Holm.
True, Donemana were so far in front at that point that it mattered not one iota where or when the target was achieved, only that the cup was on its way back to Tyrone for yet another season.
The presentation ceremony told its own story- Gareth McKeegan finding it almost surreal that his side had blown a 72-run lead (the biggest turnaround in a final since Sion Mills defied a 99-run deficit against the very same opposition in 1979) while Richard Kee simply saluted his team’s long-renowned battling attitude.
In the cold light of day the victorious captain was able to assess the final in a composed manner however he still maintained that their team spirit had been the difference.
“Everyone was talking ahead of the match that the game would be tight and they were right. We bowled well enough on Friday and although we were 5 wickets down when play was abandoned I still felt we could get close enough to Brigade’s total,” Kee said.
“I have to say though that as a team we were bitterly disappointed at how we started on Saturday with the final 5 wickets falling for just 16 runs and the boys were very keen to make up for the collapse.
“At 72 runs behind we felt that we couldn’t let Brigade get more than 150 second time around and we would back ourselves to get 220 in the fourth innings.
“We know how difficult it is to bowl any side out for 150 however it was a real turning point in the match when Junior picked up the three wickets in his first over and William got Gareth in the next.
“At that point we really got on top of them and had it not been for Andy Britton’s knock the party could well have started a lot earlier. Once the target was below 200 I was confident we had the tools for the job if we batted sensibly and that’s exactly what we did.
“It isn’t fair to single out players but I felt that Andy McBrine was thoroughly deserving of his man of the match award.”