T20 semi-finals start quality weekend programme

The action just keeps on coming at the minute throughout the North West and there’s another busy couple of days ahead for the majority of clubs starting with Friday night’s T20 semi-finals in the three cup competitions. The T20 group winners will contest the Faughan Valley Cup with Brigade hosting Bready and Eglinton taking on Donemana in this weekend’s shoot-outs.

Both games have the potential to go either way and no doubt Brigade and Donemana will be eyeing up yet another cup final showdown later in the season. Bready and Eglinton will of course have their own ideas about that- the Magheramason side still the only team in the senior ranks without a defeat on their card so far this summer.

The villagers will need to keep Donemana’s big hitters quiet, although there are so many of them that it is much easier said than done. With a full deck to chose from the visitors will be difficult to beat, however Eglinton have several players of their own who can make this an interesting night.

In the Eric Cooke Cup, Ardmore will start favourites against Fox Lodge and in Jared Wilson the home side have one of the most in-form players in the region at the minute. Wilson and Tyron Koen have the potential to take this game away from the Ballymagorry men, although again, the visitors have players like Brian Allen and Jonny Robinson who can also be very dangerous in this format.

Newbuildings will also start favourites against Strabane after Gareth McKeegan’s men’s productive first half of the season. Another team with a handful of potential match-winners, the hosts will however be tested by the Red Caps who have certainly been much more competitive this season than last.

Coleraine will fancy their chances when they travel to Killyclooney in the Sperrin Springs Cup, however Darren and Giles Moan will not want for extra motivation as this trophy makes a re-appearance after several seasons of inactivity.

There was very little to separate St Johnston and Glendermott in their recent league meeting and it is likely to be the same at the Boathole tomorrow night. Scott Macbeth has been making some serious waves in the past few weeks although the Saints are anything but a one-man band. With Glendermott’s new overseas man now settled in at the Rectory, this could well go down to the wire.

It’s back to the Long’s SuperValu League on Saturday where Bready will look to continue their unbeaten run as they make the short trip to Strabane. The Magheramason outfield is a team full of runs this year although despite posting close to 300 against Ardmore last week they were still having to hang on a bit towards the end.

Donemana will be a very warm order to continue their dominance in Group B when they entertain Ballyspallen- the home side, as with Bready last week, producing two centurions the last time they batted.

Game of the day is at Beechgrove where Ardmore will be hoping to get back on the horse after their superb early season run ended at Magheramason. Brigade aren’t usually who you’d choose to play after a defeat of course and there is also plenty at stake for Andy Britton’s men which should make this a cracking contest.

Elsewhere, St Johnston v Bonds Glen could be decent- two teams who have certainly had their moments this season, while the same comments apply to a potentially close game at Ballymagorry, where Glendermott take on the Foxes.

Eglinton take on a Coleraine side that is beginning to show some form while Newbuildings should have too many guns for Burndennett in the day’s other senior game.

Weekend fixtures in full-

Friday 9 July

Faughan Valley Cup semi-finals

Brigade v Bready

Eglinton v Donemana

Eric Cooke Cup semi-finals

Ardmore v Fox Lodge

Newbuildings v Strabane

Sperrin Springs Cup semi-finals

Killyclooney v Coleraine

St Johnston v Glendermott

(All matches start 6.30pm)

Saturday 10 July

Long’s SuperValu Senior League

Brigade v Ardmore

St Johnston v Bonds Glen

Strabane v Bready

Fox Lodge v Glendermott

Eglinton v Coleraine

Donemana v Ballyspallen

Newbuildings v Burndennett

(All matches start 12 noon)

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