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Coleraine going all out to preserve their precious lead

By Ian Callender

Published 02/07/2015

Missing link: Graeme McCarter is with the Ireland squad
Missing link: Graeme McCarter is with the Ireland squad

Just five games into the Long's SuperValu Premiership programme and a gap has opened up between the top three and the rest with Coleraine, Donemana and Brigade set to be the title contenders.

The Bannsiders' victory over Donemana last Sunday has given them the early lead and they will expect to maintain that with a home win against defending champions Strabane on Saturday, although they will be without Graeme McCarter who will be with the Ireland squad at the start of their preparations for the World Twenty20 qualifiers.

Andy McBrine at Donemana, Craig Young at Bready and Stuart Thompson are the other players in the Ireland squad and Eglinton are likely to miss Thompson more than most.

The all-rounder starred with the bat on successive days last weekend as they hammered Strabane by six wickets and then knocked out Brigade to reach the Senior Cup final.

However, it was professional Oraine Williams who has received the Danske Bank player of the round award for his 82 not out and two wickets. All eyes will be on the Jamaican on Saturday when Eglinton go into the lions' den at Donemana in the dress-rehearsal for the two-day cup final at the end of the month.

Donemana are back in action on Sunday against Ardmore, who host Bready in their first match of the weekend, two of the four teams bunched together at the bottom - Strabane and St Johnston are the others - looking for their second win of the season.

Leinster retained the Under-15 inter-provincial trophy with a 137 runs win over North West at Rush. Vurun Chopra top scored for the visitors with 43 in their total of 207. NCU won the other final-day game, against the Southern XI by six wickets.

Fixtures: Long's Supervalu Premiership (12.00): Ardmore v Bready, Brigade v St Johnston, Coleraine v Strabane, Donemana v Eglinton. Sunday: Ardmore v Donemana

Sam Jeffrey Shield 1st round: Bonds Glen v Glendermott, Burndennett v Creevedonnell, Drummond v Newbuildings, Killyclooney v Fox Lodge.

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