Maghera firsts travelled to Brigade for their first ever competitive game at Beechgrove last Saturday and came away defeated but with the knowledge they had without doubt encountered one of the favourites for the league title .
Brigade skipper Bagley won the toss and put MCC into bat and found both openers Dougherty and Pratt in stubborn and aggressive mood against his lively and spirited young bowlers. However Pratt was unfortunate to get run out with the partnership on 51 and soon after Dougherty also could feel unfortunate with an LBW dismissal.
Buoyed by these wickets the talented bowling unit continued to ask questions of the Maghera batting who reach a total of 151 / 9 in the 40 overs with O'Hagan the pick of the bunch in a resolute and courageous knock of 30 to prove once again that he has the wherewithal to deliver at this level. Sean Bentley and Luke Simpson fought bravely but scoring proved difficult against an athletic fielding unit.
The rain never came as forecast and Maghera set about their bowling only to find the Brigade batsmen in no mood to hang about. As early as the fourth ball of the innings Dixon smashed Stewart to the pavilion for a six and his intentions were crystal clear.
His knock of 106 not out was an immense innings which was virtually flawless with the exception of one chance spurned on the boundary and he never looked back.
Krishnan, Dougherty and John Semple took a wicket apiece but all to no avail as Brigade ran out comfortable winners after 20 overs of batting with Dixon majestically delivering a masterpiece of batting on Coronation day.
A difficult start to the season for MCC but there will be less difficult days as the season progresses and early season rustiness fades and confidence returns.
Written By Alfie Stewart