The North West of Ireland Cricket Union Senior Cup, formerly known as the County Derry Cricket Union Challenge Cup, has been competed for 130 times during the period 1888-2017.
In 1888, Limavady became the first club to win the trophy, which had been bought by subscription and presented to the County Derry Cricket Union for competition between senior clubs. In 1888 Limavady defeated Donemana in a keenly contested game while in 1889, Donemana again reached the final with a victory over Dungiven in the semi-final, but again lost to their opponents, Sion Mills, in the final. Sion retained the Cup in the 1890 with a victory over neighbours Strabane.
Limavady again contested the 1891 final but were well beaten by Ebrington, who scored 99 and 69 to Limavady's score of 41 in each innings.
In 1892, Strabane scratched to Sion Mills after a row over the venue of the final - something that would be unheard of today - while in 1893 Ebrington regained the trophy by defeating Dunboe in the final.
In 1894, a League Championship was started in preference to the friendly fixtures, which had formed the basis of the local cricket season for many years. From 1894 to 1897 the Cup was awarded to the winners of the League Championship - 1894 Sion Mills, 1895 Ballymoney, 1896 Sion Mills and 1897 Ballymoney.
From 1898 to 1902 the Cup was not competed for and during this period the two teams in Strabane - Strabane Rovers and Strabane United coalesced - and reappeared in 1903 as Strabane United to take the trophy with a convincing win over Sion Mills in the final.
In 1904, Sion Mills regained the trophy at the expense of Clooney and in 1905 retained it by beating Clooney once again in the final. Although beaten in these two finals, it was obvious that Clooney was emerging as a strong club and this was well and truly brought home when they annexed the Cup for six consecutive years from 1906 to 1911.
In 1906, Clooney had little trouble in beating Waterside, who were making their first appearance in a final, while Buncrana encountered their strength in 1907. In the 1908 final, Clooney set up a record score of 203, the highest since the beginning of the competition and this, of course, proved too much for their opponents, Idlers. In 1909, Clooney defeated Sion Mills in the final and a large crowd attended the game, which was played at Sion Mills. As this was the first final to be played out of Londonderry, the Great Northern Railway ran a special train from Londonderry to Sion Mills, the return fare being 1s 6d. Admission to the game was 3d. In the game itself, Sion Mills had no answer to the performance of Clooney's HC Cochrane, who scored 35 and 36 and took 7 wickets to help his club to a sound victory. Amazingly Cochrane had also played for Donemana away back in 1888.
Clooney completed their run of six victories when they defeated City of Derry in the 1910 final and Waterside in the 1911 final.
Clooney's dominance was broken in 1912 when Strabane reappeared in the final and defeated the Royal Scots Fusiliers. In 1913, Sion Mills regained the Cup at the expense of City of Derry, while in the last final played before the First World War 1914, Sion Mills and City of Derry met once again. In this final City of Derry required only 22 runs in their second innings to take the trophy but, dramatically, the Londonderry team was dismissed for 12.
After the First World War, Clooney Park in Londonderry was the venue for the 1919 final and a large crowd saw the First Dorsetshire Regiment beat City of Derry by an innings and 93 runs - First Dorsetshire Regiment 257 for 7 - City of Derry 73 and 91.
In 1920 and despite the local disturbances during the summer, both City of Derry and Waterside travelled to Sion Mills to compete for the Cup. Waterside batted first and scored 88 to which City of Derry replied with 128. In their second innings Waterside only scored 44 while City of Derry going in again got the necessary runs without a wicket falling. This was City of Derry's first victory in the final after five attempts.
In 1921 City of Derry's local rivals, Church Lads Brigade, also had their first success in the final, when they met and defeated a strong Sion Mills team at Waterside's ground. Church Lads' Brigade 120 and 122 - Sion Mills 123 and 76.
However Brigade's reign was short lived for City of Derry came back again to take the trophy in 1922 v Strabane - City of Derry 73 and 81 for 4, Strabane 82 and 71.
1923 v Sion Mills - City of Derry 89 and 42 for 4, Sion Mills 54 and 76. 1924 v Waterside - City of Derry 114, Waterside 30 and 73.
Brigade, however, also came back in 1925 to contest the final against Strabane, but, in front of 2000 at Sion Mills, the Londonderry team could only score 63 runs on a perfect wicket while Strabane rattled up 241 runs. Brigade, faced with a hugh deficit of 178, never had a chance to get equal with their opponents and in their second innings, despite being 5 runs for 8 wickets, they totalled 52.
Killaloo, made their first appearance in the 1926 final, but they were well beaten by Sion Mills - Sion Mills 185, Killaloo 43 and 129.
In 1927, City of Derry celebrated the transfer to their ground at Lower Duncreggan Road by beating Fawney in the final. City of Derry 122 and 28 for 2, Fawney 70 and 79.
Fawney, however, came back in 1928 and in a thrilling finish to the final, just managed to defeat Waterside. Fawney won the tense struggle by 6 runs, after the most sensational climax ever seen to a cricket match in Londonderry. Set to get a modest enough 94 to win in the second innings, Waterside, who had led by 25 runs on the first innings, looked as if they would romp home. They amassed 60 runs for the loss of a single wicket and with nine wickets standing only needed to score a further 34 runs and by all intense purposes it looked as if the trophy was bound for the Waterside club. But in an inspired spell of bowling, Fawney's formidable pair, R Baird and B Cochrane, skittled Waterside out for a total of 87 runs. The last 9 batsmen went for a paltry 27 runs with Baird returning a bowling analysis of 6 wickets for 25 runs and Cochrane 4 for 33. Baird returned a match analysis of 11 wickets for 50 runs and Cochrane a match analysis of 9 for 74, two monumental efforts that deserve a special niche in North West cricket annals. And with the bat too Baird was second innings top scorer for his team with 34. Scores: - Fawney 45 and 118 - Waterside 70 and 87.
Rain prevented the 1929 final from being started until the 13th August and when play eventually concluded on 14th September, City of Derry added their name to the trophy for the sixth time since the First World War.
In 1930 Waterside again suffered, this time at the hands of Brigade. Brigade 175 and 185 for 8, Waterside 78 and 93.
In 1931 Sion Mills recorded an easy win over City of Derry in a final affected by the weather. Sion Mills 114 and 62 for 7. City of Derry 56 and 119.
In 1932 and 1933, City of Derry annexed the trophy at the expense of St Johnston and Strabane respectively. City of Derry 94 and 219 for 5, St Johnston 114 and 196; City of Derry 101 and 62 for 6, Strabane 71 and 91.
In the 1932 competition, E D R Shearer, City of Derry, produced the first century to be scored in a Senior Cup final, while in 1933, he scored 233 runs in City's semi-final victory over Killaloo.
In 1934, Sion Mills once again regained the trophy - Sion Mills 209 for 7, Brigade 124 and 94 and retained it in 1935, despite a brilliant innings of 121 not out in 75 minutes by R W Moore of the City of Derry club.
From 1936 to 1938, Strabane dominated the finals with victories over Ardmore (1936) - Strabane 128 and 55 for 3, Ardmore 60 and 122; over Brigade (1937) - Strabane 229, Brigade 62 and 120; over Sion Mills (1938) - Strabane 127 and 68 for 2, Sion Mills 116 and 78.
In 1939 Brigade beat City of Derry although the highlight of the competition was in an earlier round when J L Rankin and P McLaughlin both Strabane, knocked up 335 in 3 hours and 5 minutes against St Johnston - Brigade 261 and 193, City of Derry 155 and 134.
In 1940, Sion Mills beat St Johnston with Sion's P White scoring a fine century in 40 minutes. Sion Mills 212 and 9 runs for 1 wicket, St Johnston 99 and 120
In 1941 City of Derry, although unknown to the club then, made their last appearance in the final, being beaten by seven wickets by Strabane. Strabane 144 and 161 for 3, City of Derry 194 and 109.
In 1942 the Cup competition was set aside due to the 2nd World War situation while in 1943 Brigade was successful against Strabane - Brigade 213 and 6 for no wicket, Strabane 128 and 90. For the record City of Derry was bowled out for 10 in the early stages of the competition.
Eglinton's name first appeared on the trophy in 1944 when they recorded a close win over Strabane in the final. This triumph by Eglinton was all the more remarkable and creditable because of the fact that at the beginning of the season, the club almost found it impossible to carry on and in fact was unable to play their first league fixture of the season. Eglinton 90 and 113 for 5, Strabane 107 and 95.
In 1945, Donemana, who had contested the first Senior Cup final, reappeared, but again lost, this time to Sion Mills, with Sion's J Flood taking nine Donemana 2nd innings wickets for 23 runs. 1200 attended the game. Sion Mills 117 and 93 for 6, Donemana 136 and 73.
Eglinton reappeared in 1946 but lost to Brigade. Brigade 207 and 83 for 4, Donemana 136 and 73.
In 1947, Sion Mills triumphed over Brigade by 61 runs. Sion Mills 125 and 122, Brigade 71 and 115. 194
In 1948, Eglinton accounted for Brigade (Eglinton 134 and 121, Brigade 133 and 65) while in 1949 Donemana had another go at old rivals Sion Mills, but lost yet again. Sion Mills 132 and 19 for 0, Donemana 68 and 81.
However, in 1950, Donemana's long wait paid off when they recorded a fine win over Sion Mills in the final. Donemana 130 and 123, Sion Mills 125 and 91. This win, however did not overshadow Donemana's success in the Senior League, being Senior League Champions from 1948 to 1952.
In the early fifties, in fact up to 1957, two clubs dominated the finals - Sion Mills and Eglinton. In 1951 Sion Mills beat Brigade (Sion Mills 145 and 139 - Brigade 119 and 99). In 1952 Sion Mills beat Strabane (Sion Mills 213 and 150 - Strabane 150 and 95). In 1953 Eglinton beat Ardmore (Eglinton 199 and 90 for 6 - Ardmore 104 and 183). In 1954 Eglinton beat Donemana (Eglinton 179 and 193 - Donemana 171 and 121). In 1955 Sion Mills defeated Eglinton (Sion Mills 121 and 59 - Eglinton112 and 32). In 1956 Eglinton defeated Donemana (Eglinton 94 and 188 - Donemana 59 and 43). In 1957 Sion Mills beat Strabane (Sion Mills 327 - Strabane 128 and 132). Memorable performances from these finals were an exciting 112 from Eglinton's R W Taylor in the 1954 final and 136 from Sion's A Finlay, who, together with B Donaghey, set up a record second partnership of 196 in the 1957 final against Strabane.
In 1958, Donemana defeated Ardmore in the final. (Donemana 123 for 9 and 85 for 4 and Ardmore 59 and 137). In the earlier semi-final matches of the 1958 competition, Ardmore defeated Brigade by 177 runs to 118 runs and Donemana defeated Eglinton by 177 runs to 89 runs. In the Donemana v Eglinton semi final game, Johnny Ward, the veteran Donemana opening batsman, stayed at the wicket for over four hours and was eighth out after scoring 29 while Eglinton's Scott Huey bowled unchanged for almost five hours and took 9 wickets for 67 runs. In the final Paddy McLaughlin (aged 57) emerged from retirement to assist Donemana. He scored 54 not out.
In 1959 St Johnston made their second appearance in the final to challenge much fancied Donemana for the Cup and what a final it turned out to be. Donemana lost the toss and the County Donegal team decided to bat first and mainly thanks to a fine 61 from M McSparron their innings realised 220 runs. In reply Donemana were bowled out for 118, due mainly to seven wickets for 69 runs by St. Johnston's J Patterson. In the second innings, St Johnston totalled 138, leaving Donemana to get 241 runs to win. In reply Donemana nearly succeeded in reaching the required number of runs, mainly due to J Cochrane scoring 101 not out and J Nicholl hitting 45, but their tail end batsmen did not do much and their innings closed on 192 to give St Johnston their first ever Senior Cup Final victory.
During the period 1960 - 1962 Sion Mills became the fourth club to win the Cup for three consecutive years, with victories over Brigade in 1960 - (Sion Mills 186 and 28 for 2- Brigade 69 and 141); Limavady in 1961 - (Sion Mills 133 and 135 - Limavady 94 and 172); Limavady again in 1962 - (Sion Mills 56 and 195 for 5 - Limavady 166 and 84).
In 1963, Donemana regained the Cup though dogged batting annoyed the spectators and aroused a slow hand clap. Donemana 234 and 70 for 1 - Strabane 175 and 128.
However, in 1964, a tremendous century from Donemana's J Cochrane (112), allowed Donemana to retain the trophy despite Brigade's challenge. Donemana 231 and 203 - Brigade 148 and 212.
History repeated itself in 1965 when Limavady regained the Cup after a lapse of 68 years and amazingly Donemana were again the beaten finalists. Limavady 74 and 129 for 8 - Donemana 121 and 80.
In the 1966 final Strabane beat Ardmore. For Strabane B Donaghey scored a great 118. Strabane 196 and 329 - Ardmore 209 and 181. In 1967, Ardmore again contested the final but was unsuccessful against a strong Donemana team. Ardmore 191 and 82 - Donemana 169 and 105 for 5.
1968 saw Eglinton win the Cup for the sixth time in their history whilst in 1969 Eglinton had to be content with being beaten finalists when Donemana romped home to a comfortable win. Donemana 152 and 89 for 6 - Eglinton 177 and 63.
In 1970 and 1971 Sion Mills beat Eglinton and Strabane respectively - Sion Mills 85 and 120 - Eglinton 93 and 59; Sion Mills 70 and 192 - Strabane 69 and 120.
In 1972 Brigade beat Ardmore to recapture the trophy they had last won in 1946. Brigade 215 - Ardmore 96 and 35.
Brigade retained the Cup in 1973 when they beat Eglinton at Beechgrove,
Londonderry. Brigade 248 - Eglinton 83 and 63.
The 1974 final was once again played away from Londonderry, this time at Eglinton, where Donemana conquered Senior Division 2 team Waterside. In the first round of the 1974 competition, C Nicholl, Brigade, scored his maiden century in Senior cricket, hitting 101 against Eglinton. Donemana 254 - Waterside 141 and 44.
In 1975, S Gattrell of the University of Ulster took all ten St Johnston wickets for 50 runs in the first round of the competition. Despite this rare feat, the University team lost the fixture to the County Donegal club. St Johnston, in fact went on to win the trophy by defeating Ardmore in the final. St Johnston 184 and 193 - Ardmore 211 and 164.
A century (154) by Roy Torrens in Brigade's semi-final game against Limavady - Brigade 460 - Limavady 262 - made sure that the Beechgrove club would contest the 1976 final. Their opponents Donemana, however, proved too strong in the final and the trophy went back once again to County Tyrone. Donemana 244 and 95 for 9 - Brigade 138 and 180.
In 1977 Brigade however regained the Cup with a fine win over Sion Mills at Eglinton. Brigade 173 and 72 for 4, Sion Mills 91 and 153.
St Johnston won the 1978 competition against Strabane. St Johnston 247 - Strabane 88 (P Wallace 5 for 33, D Rankin 5 for 32) and 145 (P O'Donnell 4 for 10).
The 1979 final ended with an easy five wickets win for Sion Mills. Opponents Brigade scored 300 in their first innings, then collapsed in the second innings and were skittled out for a modest 69, leaving Sion Mills target of 169 for victory in their second innings. Sion, who had earlier avoided the follow on by scoring 201 in reply to Brigade's 300, knocked this up in style with five wickets to spare. The innings was highlighted by a splendid 113 not out by Tommy Harper.
In 1980 Limavady were awarded the Cup when their opponents Sion Mills failed to turn up at the appointed starting time on the third day's play, Sion Mills 192 for 8 (V Sundaram 83) and 143 for 8 (N Hamilton 78) - Limavady 227 for 6(Norman McMichael 86, Kapel Dev 85).
Donemana regained the trophy in 1981 with a fine win over Eglinton. Donemana 237 and 106 for 6, Eglinton 214 and 128.
In a repeat of the 1978 final in 1982, St Johnston beat Strabane. In this match St Johnston's Ian Rankin scored 167 not out, the highest score ever by an individual in a Senior Cup final.
Ardmore contested the 1983 final but lost to a strong Sion Mills team. Sion Mills 289 for 5 and 26 for 2, Ardmore 159 and 149.
Sion Mills retained the trophy in 1984 defeating Brigade. Sion Mills 97 and 142, Brigade 82 and 132.
The 1985 competition was won by Donemana. Donemana 221, Brigade 89.
Coleraine recorded a dramatic win over Strabane in the 1986 final scoring 166 and 114 to Strabane's 88 and 153.
Strabane however won the 1987 competition when they beat Donemana at Beechgrove, Londonderry. Strabane 176 for 8 and 138, Donemana 121 and 98.
The Centenary Year of the North West Senior Cup in 1988 saw Donemana record a comfortable victory over Bready in the final of the competition at Beechgrove, Londonderry - Donemana 139 (R McGonigle 40 - G McConnell 4 for 47) and 236 (D Curry 63, James McBrine 61 - R Burke 4 for 56) - Bready 89 (R Kerr 6 for 45) and 112 (R Burke 37 not out, R Rankin 27 - R Kerr 8 for 50).
There was a familiar look about the North West Senior Cup final at Beechgrove, Londonderry in 1989 with Donemana facing Bready for the second successive season. Once again Bready lost to Donemana, this time by ten wickets. Donemana 175 (Jas. McBrine 43, R McGonigle 33 - M Olphert 4 for 45) and 4 for no wicket - Bready 74 (Junior McBrine 3 wickets for 8 runs, James McBrine 3 wickets for 8 runs) and 103 (James McBrine 6 for 21).
Eglinton and Limavady contested the 1990 Senior Cup final at Beechgrove, Londonderry. A poor batting performance by Limavady in their second innings gave Eglinton an easy victory. Limavady batted well in their first innings scoring 178 for 9 following Eglinton's first innings score of 197 for 8. Eglinton's second innings produced 153 runs leaving Limavady, in their second innings to get 183 runs for victory. However Limavady's second innings collapsed for 29 against the bowling of H Wallace (4 for 13) and C Martin (6 for 15).
The 1991 Senior Cup final, again played at Beechgrove, Londonderry in early August, saw the holders Eglinton defeated by Brigade by 2 runs in a thrilling climax, which could have went either way going into the final over of the game. It was a nail biting finish to an evenly balanced contest, which saw fortunes ebb and flow over the two days play that ended with the Cup returning to the Brigade Club after a 14 year absence. - Brigade 104 (S Smyth 23 - N Thompson 5 for 25) and 198 for 8 (C Jeffrey 54, S Smyth 39, W Wilson 30 and A Rutherford 21 - N Thompson 4 for 53) - Eglinton 148 (H Wallace 45, N Thompson 49 - D Huey 3 for 15) and 152 (H Wallace 81 - P Wallace 3 for 23, W Wilson 3 for 25).
Donemana reappeared for the 1992 final at Eglinton. Their opponents, Bready, lost again, this time by six wickets. Donemana 265 (D Curry 76) and 81 for 4 - Bready (190 and 152).
In the 1993 final Strabane beat Brigade by ten wickets. Brigade 126 (M Simpson 26, M Kilgore 22 - T Patton 8 for 63) and 162 for 9 (I Anthony 38, A Rutherford 34 - T Patton (6 for 62) - Strabane 236 for 7 (T Johnston 92 off 52 balls, Mark Gillespie 63 - P Wallace 3 for 81) and 53 for no wicket (J Gillespie 35 not out).
In 1994 Ardmore Cricket Club won the North West Senior Cup for the first time in their long history. Ardmore played Eglinton in the Final at Eglinton in early August and finally won the trophy after eight previous Senior Cup Final appearances. The scores in Ardmore's historic victory were: - Ardmore 163 (S Sharma 56, N Thompson 32 - H Wallace 3 for 24) and 147 for 9 (P Brolly 53 D Cooke 22 - C Martin 3 for 40) - Eglinton 59 (A Jeffrey 12 - D McCourt 6 for 24, S Sharma 4 for 20) and 175 (H Wallace 47, I McMichael 25 - S Sharma 5 for 55, N Thompson 3 for 30).
The 1995 final turned out to be a high scoring one. Eglinton beat Crindle by six wickets. Eglinton scored 285 runs in their first innings and then dismissed Crindle for 107 runs. The Eglinton second innings totalled 317 runs for 4 wickets and included two outstanding centuries - S Smyth 100 not out, H Wallace 144. Set a big task of 496 runs to win, Crindle only managed to score 236 runs, a total that included a fine innings of 99 by N McIlwee and 37 by M McDaid.
The 1996 final was Bready's first time to win the Senior Cup Trophy. In early August they defeated Strabane at Beechgrove, Londonderry by 8 wickets. Scores: - Bready 219 for 8 (A Cilliers 91) and 143 for 2 (A Cilliers 52 not out) - Strabane 220 for 8 (A Proverbs) and 140 (K Finlay 46).
Bready reached the final again in 1997 but this time they were defeated by 10 wickets by Limavady. Bready 114 and 187 for 9 - Limavady 192 and 112 for no wicket.
Ardmore played Brigade at Beechgrove, Londonderry in the 1998 final. Batting first Ardmore scored 198 for 5 in the allotted overs (P Brolly 90 not out). Brigade replied with 134 in their first innings (D Cooke 45, W Wilson 20 not out) to trail by 64 runs. In their second innings Ardmore were dramatically dismissed for 17 runs (M Simpson 5 wickets for 7 runs, G Wilson 5 wickets for 10 runs). Brigade, in their second innings scored the necessary runs (82 for 5 - D Cooke 44) to win the Cup.
In the 1999 final at Eglinton, Limavady claimed the Cup when they recorded a comfortable 8 wicket victory over Donemana. The victory was largely due to Limavady's professional J Narse who hit a century in the first innings and to D Curry who hit a second innings 128 not out to steer the Roesiders to victory. Curry's innings completed a superb performance throughout the competition as he hit a century in each round of the competition. Limavady 280 for 5 (J Narse 135, D Curry 50 - D McGerrigle 3 for 59) and 196 for 2 (D Curry 128 not out, I McGregor 32 not out, J Narse 30) - Donemana 234 (L Boyd 43, M Jamshed 43, J McBrine 36 - J Narse 3 for 53) and 239 (J McBrine 61, A McBrine 57 - R Kerr 3 for 29).
Limavady retained the Senior Cup by beating Brigade by 9 wickets in the 2000 final. J Narse hit another century in Limavady's first innings score of 265 for 5. Brigade, in reply, scored 154 for 6 (G Cooke 66) in their first innings and 222 in their second innings, leaving Limavady to score 112 for 1 (G Harron 44 not out, J Narse 44 not out) to win by 9 wickets.
In front of a packed Eglinton cricket ground, Donemana beat Limavady in the 2001 final. Scores: - Donemana 243 for 6 (A Shaffique 83, W Porterfield 57) and 211 for 9 (A Riddles 45, D McGerrigle 37) - Limavady 216 for 9 (D Curry 84, I Hussain 53) and 72 (I Smith 15 not out - A Shaffique 5 for 28, G Neely 4 for 29).
Bready's big match of the season was against Limavady in the 2002 Senior Cup final at Eglinton on Friday and Saturday 2nd and 3rd August. In a high scoring Final played in front of a large crowd on both days, Limavady once again triumphed over Bready. The feature of the match was a century in each innings by Limavady's D Curry (108 and 108) / first North West player ever to achieve this in a Senior Cup Final. There were also several good performances from Bready's M Olphert 64, W Smit 58 and 42, R Black 47 and G McConnell 40. Bready however were well beaten by 180 runs - Bready 214 for 9 and 192 - Limavady 272 for 8 and 313 for 7.
The 2003 Senior Cup final concluded with a 10 wicket victory for Limavady against Glendermott. Glendermott, who were seeking their first Senior Cup trophy, batted reasonably well but Limavady's first innings score proved more or less too much for them. Glendermott 147 and 219 (V Gunawardene 85, R Robinson 42) - Limavady 349 for 5 - K Akmal 110, R McDaid 53, I McGregor 50) and 21 for no wicket.
At the end of July 2004 Donemana beat Strabane at Eglinton in the Senior Cup final.
Donemana regained the Senior Cup with an 8 wicket victory over their near neighbours. Strabane were dismissed for 152 runs in their first innings, their top scorer being D Perera with 45. In reply Donemana's A Shafig played a fine innings of 129 and with A McBrine scoring 40, Donemana's first innings totalled 266. B Rao topped the bowling analysis for Strabane with 4 Donemana first innings wickets for 37 runs followed by M Deans who captured 3 wickets for 59 runs. Strabane, in their second innings, batted much better and in the allotted over scored 264 for the loss of 8 wickets (P Gillespie 97, Mk. Gillespie 58, D Perera 45 - A McBrine 3 for 33). Requiring 151 to win, Donemana, in their second innings, scored 154 for 3 secure victory (A Shafig 72, D McGerrigle 54 not out).
Glendermott and Ballyspallen contested the 2005 Senior Cup final, which was played at Eglinton once again. This final ended in favour of Glendermott by 6 wickets giving the Londonderry club their first ever Senior Cup trophy. Scores: - Ballyspallen 145 (J Narse 48) and 210 (J Narse 35) - Glendermott 208 (R Robinson 82 - M McDaid 3 for 16, Si. Dunn 3 for 41) and 150 for 4 (P Mullick 96 not out - R McDaid).
Eglinton 252 for 5 (J Bray 102 not out, B Rao 44) and 204 for 7 (J Bray 47) defeated Strabane 213 for 5 (P Gillespie 75 not out, P McNamee 63) and 248 for 9 (P McNamee 43, M Deans 30 - J Brown 4 for 18) by 95 runs in the 2006 Senior Cup final while in the 2007 Senior Cup final Limavady defeated Glendermott by 8 wickets at Eglinton. Glendermott 128 (J Thompson 34) and 268 for 5 (H Raza 146 not out) - Limavady 310 for 5 (I McGregor 105, D Curry 75) and 88 for 2 (I McGregor 33 not out).
Limavady were back again in the 2008 final, this time against Brigade. The Umpires for the final were Messrs Dermot Ward and Tony McCloskey, who were making their first appearance in the middle of a Senior Cup Final. Brigade scored 167 runs in their first innings (C Elder 37) while in reply Limavady scored 172 for 7 in their first innings (R McDaid 66 not out - G Cooke 3 for 32). Brigade's 2nd innings produced 213 runs for 8 wickets (I Hussain 80, R Wylie 58, C Elder 25 not out). Six of the Brigade 2nd innings wickets were run out. Requiring 209 runs for victory, Limavady batted soundly and reached 211 for the loss of 7 wickets to win the Cup.
At the end of July/early August 2009, Donemana defeated Bready yet again in the Senior Cup final, this time by 5 wickets. Scores: - Bready 151 for 8 (S Clarke 36, T Hamilton 26) and 169 for 7 (D Rankin 32) - Donemana 232 for 9 (A Shaffique 89, Junior McBrine 79 - C Young 5 for 53) and 90 for 5 (Andy McBrine 21, R Kee 19).
The Brigade/Strabane 2010 Senior Cup final was a fairly high scoring affair with Brigade winning by 97 runs after some entertaining batting. The Brigade 1st Innings produced 268 runs for the loss of 7 wickets (C Dougherty 65, N McDonnell 51, J Thompson 37, I Hussain 36) while P Gillespie scored a fine 103 in Strabane's 1st Innings total of 248 for 8. Mk. Gillespie (65) and J Beukes (38) also batted well for Strabane while M Simpson was the best of the Brigade bowlers with 3 wickets for 62 runs. Brigade's second innings reached 270 for 7 in the allotted overs (C Dougherty 65, N McDonnell 51, J Thompson 37, I Hussain 36, G McKeegan 25) and Strabane's 2nd Innings closed on 193 (K Martin 82, P Gillespie 21, A Lynch 21 - M Simpson 4 for 34.
2011 saw another Bready v Donemana Senior Cup final but this time Bready emerged winners. Bready's first innings featured two centuries - 126 by D Rankin and 100 by B Crumley in a total of 304 for 7. Donemana replied with 249 for 8 (K Sajid 81 not out, D Olphert 27 and Junior McBrine 26). Bready then scored 251 for 5 in their 2nd Innings (S Clarke 56) while the Donemana 2nd Innings closed on 239 (K Sajid 47, R Kee 37 - T Hamilton 3 for 43) leaving Bready winners by 69 runs.
However Donemana bounced back with a five-wicket victory over Brigade in the 2012 Senior Cup final, which was played on the Bready cricket ground at Magheramason. Brigade did well in their first innings by scoring 248 runs for the loss of five wickets, thanks mainly to a fine innings of 102 by G McKeegan and 42 by H Chappell. Donemana also did well in their first innings by passing the Brigade score by 7 runs (255 for 5 - K Sajid 61, R L Dougherty 54 - J Thompson 3 for 48). Brigade scored 110 runs in their second innings leaving Donemana to score 104 runs to win the Senior Cup. Donemana's second innings produced the necessary runs for the loss of 5 wickets - (104 for 5 - R L Dougherty 28, Junior McBrine 23 not out - J Thompson 4 for 32).
The 2013 Senior Cup final at the end of July was contested again by Brigade and Donemana at Eglinton with Donemana once again defeating Brigade, this time by 6 wickets. Scores: - Brigade 228 for 5 (G McKeegan 83 not out, J Thompson 46, A Britton 36 not out - A McBrine 2 for 41) and 102 (A Britton 62 - K Sajid 3 for 22) - Donemana 156 (A McBrine 31, R L Dougherty 25 - J Thompson 3 for 46) and 175 for 4 (A McBrine 55 not out, G McClintock 43 - J Thompson 3 for 51).
For the third year in a row (2014) Brigade and Donemana contested the Senior Cup final and again Donemana won, to retain the Senior Cup trophy for the third year in succession. The final was played at Strabane Park in Strabane and this time Donemana's margin of victory was 88 runs. Scores: - Donemana 244 for 7 (A McBrine 51, T Riddles 45. K Sajid 32) and 206 for 8 (K Sajid 70 not out, G McClintock 39 - A Britton 2 for 42) - Brigade 141 (R Hepburn 51, G McKeegan 30 - J McGonigle 4 for 19, A McBrine 2 for 28) and 221 (D Murdock 63, J Thompson 50 - A McBrine 3 for 35).
Donemana appeared again in the 2015 Senior Cup final, their opponents being Eglinton. Despite the final being played on the Eglinton ground, the Donemana team proved too strong for the Eglinton team. Scores: - Eglinton 114 (J McGonigle 3 for 21, J Frylinck 3 for 27, R McBrine 3 for 35) and 181 for 5 (R Wylie 62 not out - J Frylinck 3 for 25) - Donemana 179 for 9 (G McClintock 37, R L Dougherty 36 - R Allen 3 for 20, O Williams 3 for 32) and 117 for 5 (A McBrine 65 not out, G McClintock 37 - S Thompson 3 for 39, O Williams 2 for 37).
Coleraine Cricket Club, winners of the Senior Cup in 1986, reappeared for the 2016 final but lost by six wickets against Donemana. Coleraine batted first and in the allotted overs scored 198 for 4. Their top scorer was N McDonnell with 80 not out, followed by S Campbell with 38 and D Cooke with 33 - J Frylinck 2 for 55. Donemana replied with 235 for 9, their top scorer being A Riddles with 76 not out followed by R L Dougherty with 43 and T Riddles with 25. Coleraine's second innings closed on 193 for 9 with N McDonnell top scoring again with 63 followed by 33 from S Campbell and 26 from M Douglas. Requiring 157 runs to win, Donemana reached the required score for the loss of four wickets to win the Senior Cup for the fifth time in succession.
Not since 1911 has any Cricket Club gone into a Senior Cup final with the prospect of winning the Cup for the sixth consecutive year, a record held by the Clooney Cricket Club (1906 - 1911). Donemana equalled that long standing record of six Senior Cup wins in a row when they defeated Ballyspallen Cricket Club at Beechgrove, Londonderry in the 2017 Senior Cup final. Ballyspallen, making their second appearance in a Senior Cup Final, lost by 233 runs. Scores: - Donemana 228 (R L Dougherty 63, A Riddles 47) and 237 (I Butt 69, G McClintock 42 - M Averill 4 for 34) - Ballyspallen 129 (M Averill 32, S Kennedy 26 - J McGonigle 4 for 21, Junior McBrine 3 for 22) and 101 (S Kennedy 36, D McCallum 27 - Junior McBrine 7 for 13, J McGonigle 2 for 12).
In conclusion, the Senior Cup competition over the years has been the backbone of North West of Ireland cricket, with all senior clubs endeavouring to reach the final stage of the competition and get their name inscribed on the trophy.
© WHW Platt