Cricket: Confident Inst can smell cup upset
Instonians batsman James Shannon is happy to travel to The Hills today as underdogs for the match of the first round of the RSA Irish Cup, but is backing the NCU joint league leaders to cause an 'upset'.
Both teams have won their first two league games and are expected to be involved in the business end of the season, but only one can reach the second round of the biggest cup competition in the country. It's a scenario with which Shannon, the Ireland A captain, is content.
"That's the way the Irish Cup works. You have to beat the best teams to win it and you going to have to play against the likes of The Hills, or Railway Union, or North Down or Waringstown at some stage so we are happy to get them first up," says Shannon.
"We have a good recent record in cup competitions, Instonians are now renowned as a bit of a cup team so hopefully we will live up to it on Saturday.
"We have won both our games but we haven't played up to the standard of talent in our team, so that is a good sign. Whitey and John Stevenson have been batting well, I haven't got among the runs yet so hopefully I will be able to help them out on Saturday and get a big score."
Max Sorensen, his Ireland A team-mate this week, will lead The Hills' attack and be the big danger to Instonians.
North Down and Ballymena are the other NCU sides who start their Irish Cup campaign in Dublin, against Leinster and Clontarf respectively. League champions CIYMS should have the most straightforward passage, at home to Glendermott.