Galway Cricket Club has pulled off a shock result in the Irish Senior Cup, beating Fox Lodge on their own ground near Strabane in Saturday's first round.
Described by Galway players as one of the best days in the club's 30 year history, Galway claimed a seven wicket win over one of the major teams in the North West Cricket Union across the Border, that had been expected to win with ease.
Galway, in their first appearance in Ireland's highest level competition, produced some slick bowling when asked to field first under a cloudy sky.
Fox Lodge were kept in check by steady Galway bowling and reduced the opposition to 210 all out from the 50 allotted overs.
Iliff Sumit removed opener Hayes in his third over, and from then on Galway kept stalling the Fox Lodge progress. All six of Galway's bowlers shared the wickets with two for Danish Ali and three for brother, Tabish. Subbu Ramnath took two more, and a brilliant catch by Conor Mullen gave Ben Speake another wicket. However the pick of the bowlers had to be Jaffer Hussain who conceded just 15 runs from his 10 overs, removing the last batsman in the bargain.
It meant four Fox Lodge batsmen were out without scoring a single run, leaving the middle order batsmen with the job to put runs on the board, with Allen, 47, and Clarke, 56, finishing as the team's top scorers.
After a delay for rain, the Galway team were given a revised total of 175 to win from a reduced allotment of 34 overs. They endured a faltering start, losing their first wicket at eight runs and another at 28 after seven overs. However Ben Speake and Conor Mullen put on 53 runs together before Mullen was run out for 21. Subbu Ramnath and opener Speake then took the game away from an ever increasing frustrated and irritable home team, sending crushing sixes over the boundary four times in the closing overs. Speake finished 87 not out alongside partner Subbu, who reached 41 not out in the 33rd over, ensuring it was game over and Galway had won by seven wickets.
Galway wicket keeper Ronan Mahon said the rain-reduced target had made it even more difficult for Galway as their innings had been shortened by 16 overs.
Galway now face another daunting task when they take on Waringstown in the next round, another big Northern club on June 6.