Long’s SuperValu League Weekend Preview
Despite the IPT20 festival taking place at Bready over the weekend there’s a full programme of domestic league action across the North West this Saturday. As always there are several intriguing ties down for decision with arguably the game of the day at Eglinton where Group B leaders Newbuildings are the visitors.
The villagers lost out in a thrilling game against Donemana last time, but despite that they go into the contest in decent form overall. Craig Averill has been in fantastic nick since returning to the club and is very much the player that Gareth McKeegan’s team will have to keep tabs on if they are to keep their winning run going.
The leaders look really solid so far and showed that they are a threat to all this season when they easily chased down 183 at Ballyspallen on Saturday past. They have great options with both bat and ball but this will be a really interesting clash and is too difficult to call.
Donemana are also unbeaten after two matches and they will be strongly fancied to see off neighbours Killyclooney at the Holm. The hosts will again be without Andy McBrine and Willie McClintock who are both on Warriors duty, however they still had enough to dig out that huge win at Eglinton in similar circumstances.
It obviously wouldn’t be beyond a ‘Clooney side that have yet to get off the mark and they will need to be a whole lot better if they are to spring a surprise here.
Coleraine entertain Ballyspallen in the final game in Group B- both sides having played just one league game so far and both coming up short. It’s an interesting game in that the Bannsiders have the potential to be an awful lot better and will be a tough nut to crack with home advantage.
‘Spallen threw a fly in the ointment last week with their new overseas man Damith Perera who announced his arrival with a century in that defeat at home to Newbuildings. The Sri Lankan showed real quality in that knock and if the Roe Valley side can give him support in the batting order they could make this interesting.
In Group A, unbeaten Bready make the short trip to Magheramason to take on a Fox Lodge side that has won their only game in the league so far. The visitors have looked really solid in all competitions this year and probably travel as slight favourites, but the boys in yellow can make this an interesting afternoon.
Ardmore are unbeaten in both competitions so far and will fancy their chances at Strabane Park. The injury that has ruled Jared Wilson out of the Warriors squad this weekend is a blow to the Bleachgreen side but they should be able to cope.
The Red Caps haven’t folded after the return of their Leinster players, as many expected, and their batting has been much better so far this season than in the last couple. They look like they could surprise one or two as the summer unfolds.
Brigade will be missing Ryan Macbeth and Ross Allen for their trip to Donegal- both players involved in the IP games as well, but they should still have enough about them against the Saints. It won’t be easy of course- some friendly family rivalry guaranteed to keep things noisy at the Boathole on Saturday.
Bonds Glen and Glendermott, two sides still looking for their first win, complete the day’s programme. The visitors will see this as an opportunity to get points on the board but they certainly won’t get it all their own way against the battling Glen.
Saturday’s fixtures in full-
Fox Lodge v Bready
Bonds Glen v Glendermott
St Johnston v Brigade
Strabane v Ardmore
Coleraine v Ballyspallen
Eglinton v Newbuildings
Donemana v Killyclooney