Lurgan won the first of their three Irish Senior Cups in 1984 becoming the latest NCU side to win the Irish Senior Cup following in the footsteps of North and Waringstown.

Their side had that nice blend of youth and experience, led by Gary McCollum, and with a prolific overseas player, Indian Rahul Mankad.

It was to be Mankad who would be the difference between the Mid-Ulster side and their NW opponents, Brigade.

Rahul Mankad and Paul McCrum

The Beechgrove side were vastly experienced, with their captain, Irish international Roy Torrens at the helm, alongside amongst others Ronnie Taylor, John Watson, Dougie Huey, William Wilson, Colin Jeffrey Gerard McCarter Alan Jeffrey and Ian Torrens.

Lurgan overcame Clontarf, Sion Mills, YMCA and North Down to reach the final, while Brigade's route to the decider didn't get off to the best of starts as opener Dean Simpson recalled.

"Our campaign got off to a fairly inauspicious start at The Hills. One of our cars got delayed (lost!) and we had to take the field with four players missing, including the skipper who, incidentally, may also have been the driver!

"However, they arrived a few overs later and we managed to win and we were off and running."

They then overcame Donacloney, had little trouble finding  and beating Eglinton, while in the semi-final beat a very strong Phoenix side by four wickets.

Lurgan won the toss and batted, and both sides knew that Mankad would ultimately hold the key to the contest.

 "We knew the crucial factor would be getting Mankad, the Lurgan pro, early," said Simpson.

" Unfortunately for us that didn't happen. Rahul was magnificent. One ball flew through the slips but other than that it was a flawless innings of 130. Terrific to watch if you weren't on the receiving end."

With Tom Guy and Gary McCollum offering stable support, Mankad and Lurgan laid a solid foundation in the face of accurate bowling from Jeffrey, Watson and Torrens.

When Mankad was joined by 22 year-old Paul McCrum - later to win 74 caps between 1989 and 1998 - thee game was entering a crucial phase.

The young McCrum scored a run-a-ball 56, while Mankad shifted through the gears, the pair adding 131 in a match defining third wicket stand.

Rahul Mankad

Mankad went on to make a magnificent 130 - still to this day the highest individual score in a final - before being dismissed in the final over.

Ross McCollum - the current Cricket Ireland Chairman - struck a few lusty blows in a rapid 20 as Lurgan posted 257 for 6 - a formidable target as Simpson acknowledged.

"257 was a big chase in those days, even more so in a cup final.

"We never managed to build any meaningful partnerships and whilst we felt that a couple of decisions went against us (I would say that), Lurgan and Mankad fully deserved their victory."

The Brigade chase never really get going with rain interruptions hampering any chance of momentum. Eight batsmen reached double figures but Lurgan kept things tight throughout and their fielding backed up the bowlers.

Clarkie Nicholl top scored with 40 before being run out, as Brigade finished on 170 - 87 runs adrift.

Lurgan's attack all acquitted themselves well with McCrum. Dickie Maxwell, Paul Lyness, Mankad and Robert Hughes all keeping the Beechgrove batters under control.

Mankad was unsurprisingly given the Man-of-the-Match accolade but his performance reignited the debate whether professionals should be included in the tournament.

Lurgan captain Gary McCollum gets the trophy from the Schweppes representative

This was the start of a golden period for Lurgan, who would win the competition on two further occasions, as NCU sides were the dominant force in the early years.

Lurgan Vs Brigade
1-Innings Match Played At Rathmines, 01-Sep-1984, Irish Senior Cup
Lurgan Win by 87 runs

Round Final
Toss won by Lurgan
Umpires E Harkness - J Heavey
Home Side (neutral)
Player of Match R Mankad
Comment Final of Irish Senior Cup.

Lurgan 1st Innings 257/6 Closed (Overs 50)

Batsman Fieldsman Bowler Runs Bls 4s 6s
R Mankad c A Jeffrey b D Huey 130 153 15 1
T Guy+ c W Wilson b A Jeffrey 15 21 2 0
G McCollum   c&b D Huey 16 47 3 0
P McCrum c A Jeffrey b R Torrens 56 55 7 0
D Gilliland c C Nicholl b W Wilson 9 15 0 0
R McCollum   b D Huey 20 9 0 2
D Guy not out   0 0 0 0
D Johnson dnb          
R Maxwell dnb          
R Hughes dnb          
P Lyness dnb          
extras   (b2 lb7 w2 nb0) 11      
TOTAL   6 wickets for 257      
1-31(T Guy) 2-70(G McCollum) 3-201(P McCrum) 4-227(D Gilliland) 5-253(R Mankad)
6-257(R McCollum)
Bowler Overs Maid Runs Wkts wd nb
A Jeffrey 10 2 28 1 - -
J Watson 10 1 31 0 - -
R Torrens 10 0 53 1 - -
D Huey 5 0 38 3 - -
D Simpson 6 0 37 0 - -
W Wilson 9 0 59 1 - -

Brigade 1st Innings 170/10 All Out (Overs 43.5)

Batsman Fieldsman Bowler Runs Bls 4s 6s
D Simpson lbw b R Maxwell 15 42 1 0
C Jeffrey   b P McCrum 20 27 4 0
C Nicholl run out   40 64 2 0
R Torrens*   b R Maxwell 15 32 1 1
R Taylor+   b R Hughes 11 13 1 0
W Wilson c T Guy b R Hughes 17 20 1 0
A Jeffrey c T Guy b P Lyness 8 25 0 0
I Torrens run out   3 6 0 0
Gerard McCarter c R Mankad b P Lyness 11 12 0 0
J Watson not out   13 16 0 0
D Huey   b R Hughes 1 9 0 0
extras   (b1 lb11 w1 nb3) 16      
TOTAL   10 wickets for 170      
1-40(C Jeffrey) 2-57(D Simpson) 3-90(R Torrens) 4-112(C Nicholl) 5-112(R Taylor)
6-142(W Wilson) 7-142(A Jeffrey) 8-146(I Torrens) 9-164(Gerard McCarter)
10-170(D Huey)
Bowler Overs Maid Runs Wkts wd nb
P McCrum 6 1 19 1 - -
P Lyness 9 0 40 2 - -
R Mankad 10 1 30 0 - -
R Maxwell 10 2 32 2 - -
R Hughes 8.5 0 33 3 - -