Cup finals dominate weekend programme

Weather permitting there’s another busy weekend coming up for local cricket clubs with a full programme of senior league fixtures sandwiched between two competitive looking cup finals. 

On Friday night it’s the women’s blue riband decider as newly-crowned league champions Bready take on cup holders Fox Lodge in the 2023 renewal at Magheramason.

The Ballymagorry side will be appearing in their sixth consecutive final, and they’ve won four of the previous five. There’s no doubting that kind of cup pedigree- albeit their sole defeat came against this weekend’s opponents.

Home advantage and the fact that they haven’t lost a match all season means that Alana Dalzell’s team go into the game as slight favourites, but that won’t worry the Foxies.

Both teams have several match-winners in the ranks although the visitors will know if they keep the Bready skipper, and current Irish International quiet, that would really boost their chances of retaining the trophy.

On Sunday, attention switches to the Bleachgreen as Brigade and Killyclooney lock horns down the rocky road.

Coincidentally, the two sides also meet in the league on Saturday as well; a fixture that could go a long way to deciding their respective placings this year.

As well as the Faughan Valley cup itself, there’s also the prize of a crack at the All-Ireland T20 title which carries with it a place in January’s European Club League tournament in Spain.

Pound for pound, Andy Britton’s side looks to have a big advantage over their rivals; however as ‘Clooney have shown time and again this summer, they fear no-one.

Getting Blayde Capell early is the key for the Limavady Road side, although the likes of Mark Gordon, William Finlay, Kenzie Hall and skipper Timmy Dougherty have definitely benefitted too from the South African’s inclusion.

Brigade have serious options with both bat and ball however- Iftikhar Hussain, David Barr, Adam McDaid, Ryan and Scott Macbeth and now two Mellys as well means that the Tyrone side has a real job on their hands on Sunday.

In between the two finals we have the regular Long’s SuperValu league programme, with a couple of last week’s postponed games also pencilled in for Sunday.

Newbuildings look like the side with most to gain this weekend- they’re away to a couple of strugglers in Burndennett on Saturday and Ballyspallen 24-hours later. Two wins there could lift Gareth McKeegan’s team into the top five in the table.

Game of the day on Saturday is undoubtedly that top-four clash at Beechgrove on a day when there are several ‘in-form v out-of-form’ fixtures.

Ardmore have a great chance to keep the pressure on at the top as they entertain Bonds Glen and Bready will be a warm order to see off Strabane.

Eglinton can make it four wins in a row as they host Glendermott while Fox Lodge and Donemana can continue their push for a Premier League spot against Ballyspallen and St Johnston respectively.

 

WEEKEND FIXTURES

Friday 21 July

Women’s Senior Cup final (At Bready-5pm)

Bready v Fox Lodge

 

Saturday 22 July

Long’s SuperValu League (12 noon)

Brigade v Killyclooney

Burndennett v Newbuildings

Eglinton v Glendermott

Bready v Strabane

Donemana v St Johnston

Ardmore v Bonds Glen

Fox Lodge v Ballyspallen

 

Sunday 23 July

Faughan Valley Cup final (At Ardmore- 1pm)

Brigade v Killyclooney

 

Long’s SuperValu League replays (12 noon)

Ballyspallen v Newbuildings

Strabane v Fox Lodge

 

 

 

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