Coleraine get their title defence off to the perfect start with convincing win

Saturday saw the opening game of the league season for Coleraine 1st XI who came up against 2014 champions Strabane.

Roshen Silva on his way to 85. PIC: Davy McDonald

Many games in the North West had fallen victim to the weather but this fixture avoided any rain throughout the day.

Strabane captain Ryan Gallagher won the toss and chose to bowl first.

Coleraine lost opener Tim Chopra early on, which brought Rishi Chopra to the crease along with captain Scott Campbell.

This pair shared a 44 run partnership before both men were dismissed for 15 and 27 respectively.

In came new professional Roshen Silva who stole the show and made batting look ridiculously easy.

The Sri Lankan batsman compiled a patient 85 of 117 (5 fours) which included the biggest partnership of the day of 69 with David Cooke who scored 27 runs.

Coleraine lost a few wickets towards the end of the innings but batted out the 50 overs giving a total of 201 for 8 for Strabane to try and chase.

The second innings never really got going as opening bowling pair Jarred Barnes and Gordon Cooke produced excellent spells to put them on the back foot.

Barnes bowled his five overs for a miserly three runs whilst Cooke dismissed three top order batsmen to leave Strabane reeling.

Cooke finished with excellent figures of 10-2-21-3.

Only the Strabane captain Gallagher provided any hope with as he finished with 28 runs.

Coleraine captain Scott Campbell used eight bowlers on the day with professional Silva claiming two wickets on a fine debut along with himself, Varun Chopra and Matthew Smyth all with one wicket each.

Coleraine ran out convincing winners by 67 runs.

Next up for Coleraine is Merrion CC from Dublin in the All Ireland Cup next Saturday at Sandel Lodge.