Brigade will hope there are no significant weather problems today, as they are on the verge of lifting the NW Senior Cup for the 15th time.

After rain cut short Newbuildings’ second innings at Eglinton yesterday, the teams will return this morning with Brigade needing just 37 to win from 20 overs; the minimum number required to get a result in the fourth innings on the reserve day.

Brigade had claimed a 55-run first-innings lead on Friday, and a superb spell from skipper Andy Britton brought him figures of five for 18, the best in a Cup Final since his own seven for 24 in the second innings against Eglinton in 2018.

The surely straightforward target of 37 was worked out on the complicated DLS formula and based on a Newbuildings second innings total of 59; their actual total less than the difference in the first innings totals.

It is no more than Britton’s side deserve after dominating yesterday’s abbreviated action from the second legitimate ball of the day, when Ryan Macbeth had Newbuildings skipper Gareth McKeegan caught behind.

Britton then struck with his first ball to take the big wicket of Ryan Hunter, but it was two wickets in the space of seven balls which decisively turned the Final in favour of the Beechgrove outfit to leave them 45 for four.

First, Britton had top scorer Jason Dunn caught at mid-off, while Scott Macbeth completed his first over by having South African professional Hanu Viljoen caught behind.

Johnny Thompson said that he is retiring at the end of the season, but his wish to go out on a high in the Cup Final lasted only seven balls, skying his first attacking shot to point, and Newbuildings had lost half the side and were still seven runs shy of making Brigade bat again.

Britton refused to take a backward step, and was rewarded for bowling his full 10-over quota straight through with two more wickets – Ross Dougherty caught at point and Ross Hunter at deep cover – to reduce the Foyleview team to 65 for seven, just 10 runs ahead. With the rain always imminent, Britton also bowled out the Macbeth brothers, entrusting his fourth and fifth bowlers, JP Miller and Davy Barr, to look after the tail.

They were denied by Newbuildings’ 16-year-old Charlie Downey for 50 balls – no batter faced more – but after a stand of 23 for the ninth wicket with Trent McKeegan, the teenager holed out to mid-off where, fittingly, Britton took the catch.

The Brigade skipper had actually bowled 17 overs in the Cup Final without taking a wicket before his first ball strike yesterday morning – he was wicketless in the 2021 decider against Eglinton and in the first innings here on Friday – but he all but ensured that he will be lifting the Cup sometime today, the fourth time in six years that the most prestigious trophy in the north west will be heading back to Beechgrove.