Teams set for another busy weekend of cup cricket

It’s another couple of busy days ahead for North West clubs with cup action in the Best Western White Horse T20 tonight (Friday) and then a packed programme of first round matches in the Clear Currency Irish Senior and National Cups on Saturday.

Brigade will be keen to find their ‘A’ game this weekend after an indifferent start to their season. Andy Britton’s men begin their defence of the White Horse T20 Cup at home to Killyclooney and will be desperate for a win to kick-start their summer.

Newbuildings entertain Donemana in what is surely the game of the night while neighbours Burndennett and Fox Lodge also square up in what looks an evenly-matched encounter.

Ardmore welcome Ballyspallen to the Bleachgreen while Strabane are at Bonds Glen in the fifth and final game on Friday.

Then it’s on to the All-Ireland competitions at the weekend with some very tricky looking ties for North West sides in the Irish Senior Cup.

Bready travel to Sandymount for what looks like a really difficult afternoon against YMCA. It will take something to get past a team that includes Curtis Campher, Simi Singh and the Tector boys- Harry, Jack and Tim, while former Ireland Head Coach Graham Ford is in YM’s corner these days as well.

Coleraine could have been facing an easier challenge too; the Bannsiders travelling south to take on a Merrion side that has contested the final of this competition six times since 2010.

Eglinton are the third North West team to be Dublin-bound this weekend, the villagers set to take on Championship side Leinster in Rathmines.

One of the games of the day is at Comber where North Down entertain Brigade. These sides have made differing starts domestically so far with the hosts starting winning four of their first five matches.

Home advantage will make Alistair Shields’ men slight favourites, but we know never to write off Andy Britton’s team when their backs are to the wall.

The other four North West challengers all have home advantage but all have difficult ties to negotiate as well.

Previous winners Donemana host Leinster Championship outfit Cork Harlequins and if Andy and Willie McBrine and the McClintock boys are on top form, the Holm side will probably fancy their chances of progressing to the next round.

Fox Lodge are likely to find the going tough against The Hills; the Skerries side with a couple of wins in this competition over the past decade. The Ballymagorry men are no mugs themselves of course and have claimed a few ISC scalps of their own.

Another good day from in-form Marco Marais would certainly increase the chances of the home side going through, but it’s a tall order.

Ardmore are another side who don’t mind the ‘underdog’ tag but the Bleachgreen side could give Instonians plenty to think about in this one. Andrew White’s team has been in something of a transition in the last couple of seasons and this could be difficult to call.

Newbuildings and Carrickfergus could also be tight- Gareth McKeegan’s team certainly capable of mixing it with their visitors. Keeping the likes of Jacques Synman and Jeremy Lawlor quiet will be key for the local side.

In the National Cup, Bonds Glen are guaranteed a place in the last 16 having been handed a bye, while Glendermott will be confident of making it through as well when they entertain Athlone.

St Johnston have an early start for their trip to Laois but the Donegal side travel full of confidence having made a fantastic start to their domestic summer.

Killyclooney travel to Cregagh and Ballyspallen host Templepatrick in games that are likely to have little between the teams and could go either way.

Strabane and Civil Service falls into that category as well- home advantage certainly a big help for the Red Caps in this one.

Burndennett will be wondering what they did to be pitched against five-time senior cup winners North County, but you just know the hosts will be really looking forward to trying to spring a surprise on Saturday.

 

Weekend senior fixture list-

Friday

Best Western White Horse T20 Cup (6.30pm starts)

Ardmore v Ballyspallen

Brigade v Killyclooney

Burndennett v Fox Lodge

Newbuildings v Donemana

Bonds Glen v Strabane

 

Saturday

Clear Currency Irish Senior Cup (50 overs- 12.30 starts)

YMCA V Bready

Leinster v Eglinton

Merrion v Coleraine

North Down v Brigade

Fox Lodge v The Hills

Newbuildings v Carrick

Ardmore v Instonians

Donemana v Cork Harlequins

 

National Cup (40 overs- 1.30 starts)

Laois v St Johnston

Cregagh v Killyclooney

Strabane v Civil Service

Burndennett v North County

Ballyspallen v Templepatrick

Glendermott v Athlone

 

 

 

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