Knights aim to vanquish Warriors and keep Lightning in sights
The Northern Knights have made two changes to their squad for tonight's Twenty20 inter-provincial against the North West Warriors at Strabane (5pm).
Lee Nelson remains out with a broken toe, and his Waringstown team-mate Morgan Topping comes in as an off-spinning alternative, while Robert McKinley comes into the Twenty20 squad for the first time this season at the expense of his Instonians colleague Nathan Smith. Craig Lewis is the other player to drop out.
The Warriors, still looking for the first win of the season in any format, are able to recall Andy Britton, Johnny Thompson and Donemana professional Imran Butt, who all missed the trip to Cork last week - where not a ball was bowled. Making way are Niall O'Donnell, Graham Kennedy and Ryan Macbeth.
With Leinster Lightning - who can replace the injured Kevin O'Brien with George Dockrell - expected to make it three wins out of three against the Munster Reds at Merrion this evening, the Knights will be keen to bounce back from their defeat at Anglesea Road last week and keep the gap between first and second within manageable proportions going into the second half of the tournament.
It is cup quarter-final day in both the NCU and North West tomorrow, while for the four clubs who had their Irish Cup games abandoned last week, they play those rearranged ties on Sunday.
The Donemana trio of Andy McBrine, Ricky-Lee Dougherty and Butt, plus Steve Lazars of Coleraine, will be involved in all three competitions and, after sharing a dressing room tonight, they will be on opposite sides tomorrow for the match of the day in the Bank of Ireland Senior Cup at The Holm.
It is a repeat of last year's final and the semi-finals of 2011, '13, '14 and '15, and Donemana have won them all, and for the last five years have gone to win the Cup.
In the NCU, the AJG Challenge Cup holders Civil Service North are away to CIYMS, two weeks after beating them in the Premier League at Stormont.
Teams: Warriors: A McBrine (capt), C Young, S Thompson, A Gillespie, D Rankin, S Lazars, A Britton, J Thompson, R-L Dougherty, R Allen, J Robinson, I Butt
Knights: J Shannon (capt), Nik Smith, A Dennison, S Getkate, M Gilmour, G Kidd, J Holmes, G McCarter, R McKinley, J Mulder, G Thompson, M Topping
Weekend fixtures: (1.00) - Saturday: AJG Challenge Cup Quarter-finals: CIYMS v Civil Service North (12.00), Instonians v North Down, Lisburn v Downpatrick (12,00) Woodvale v Muckamore
Gardiner Bros Section One: Academy v Holywood, Cliftonville v Donaghcloney Mill, Lurgan v Armagh (12.00)
Section Two: Larne v BISC. Sunday: Cooke Collegians v Cregagh (12.00). Section Three: Dunmurry v Dungannon (12.00)
GMcG Junior Cup quarter-finals: Civil Service North II v Cregagh (12.00), Laurelvale v Instonians II, Saintfield v Dundrum, Templepatrick v Drumaness
Sunday: Irish Senior Cup 2nd round (12.30): Waringstown v Coleraine, Pembroke v Bready, The Hills v Donemana
Gardiner Bros Premier League (11.30): CIYMS v Carrickfergus
Lagan Valley Steels T20 Cup: Civil Service North v Instonians, (11.00), Muckamore v Civil Service North (12.00)
Bank of Ireland Senior Cup Quarter-finals: Ardmore v Fox Lodge, Ballyspallen v Strabane, Donemana v Coleraine, Newbuildings v Bready
Long's SuperValu Championship: Glendermott v Killyclooney, Burndennett v St Johnston.