Strabane got their season up and running with a maximum points victory at home to Glendermott. Aaron Gillespie top-scored as they made 197, with Usman Azhar bowling them to a 113-run win.

“We put in a really good performance and definitely progressed from last week,” said Gillespie. 

“We got off to a great start with the bat and set ourselves another platform to kick on but they did well to restrict us to 197. We were boosted with the return of Rhys and having Nasir arriving gave everyone a boost and with those added to our bowling attack I felt we had enough to defend.

“I was impressed with our new overseas professional Nasir Nawaz, especially considering his original flight was cancelled and only landing into Derry Airport at 10.20am on Saturday morning. To come straight to the ground and put in the performance he did making 33 and taking two wickets and three catches was incredible. I’m looking forward to seeing what he can do once he gets fully settled in.

“Usman bounced back from last week and showed the bowler I’ve heard so much about. He set the tone up top with the new ball bowling tightly and taking early wickets for us - exactly what you look for. Then when I called upon him to finish it off he showed great skill and claimed a five-wicket haul which he fully deserved.”

Gillespie’s form has led to calls for a return to interprovincial selection for the Warriors, but for the moment the Red Caps skipper is solely focused on Strabane’s fortunes.

“I’ve been feeling in really good form and it’s great to be able to start the season with some runs. Being able to spend a month in India at the start of the year put me in good stead as I had already played seven competitive matches under my belt. I know I definitely still have left a lot of runs out there in the first two games but it’s early doors so I know I can back my skills and keep pushing on and have a really good season.”

Gillespie will be hoping the runs keep flowing as his side face a tricky encounter away at Bready on Saturday in the opening round of the Senior Cup.