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Phil Eaglestone set to play through pain barrier in decider

By Ian Callender

Phil Eaglestone is still hoping to be given the go-ahead to play in the Ulster Bank Challenge Cup final tomorrow despite breaking a bone in his left hand in last Sunday's inter-provincial game at Bready.

Eaglestone had his hand put in plaster on Monday but he is seeing a doctor today, hoping to have the plaster removed and replaced with a splint to give him a chance of playing for Waringstown in his first NCU final.

"If it can be done, I will get it done and would play with pain-killers," said Eaglestone last night. "The timing couldn't have been worse for me because I came to Waringstown to win trophies and here I am with the possibility of missing my first final with them."

Waringstown are just as eager to have their No.1 strike bowler involved for the game against Instonians at Comber, but captain Kyle McCallan said yesterday: "We are hoping Phil might be able to play, but we won't be downbeat if he doesn't. He is an Ireland international and a quality bowler, but we have plenty of bowling options, especially in the spin department."

Meanwhile, the Eglinton groundstaff are having to prepare a new pitch for their two-day Senior Cup final, between Brigade and Donemana, also starting tomorrow, after petrol was poured on the square last night.

Club spokesman John Pierce said: "We have no idea why the club would have been targeted, however thanks to the hard work of our ground staff we are back on track and will be ready for Friday morning."

Meanwhile, the Ireland under-17s crashed to a 78 runs defeat against Scotland in yesterday's international in Ayr, when they were bowled out for 99. The teams play a Twenty20 match today.

In the Ulster Bank Premier League, Nigel Jones and Jason van der Merwe put on 140 for the second wicket to put Civil Service North in control of their game against Ballymena.

Ulster Bank Premier League: At Stormont, Civil Service North 224-7 (J van der Merwe 72, N Jones 65; M Taylor 3 for 40 K Aphale 2-20 R McKinley 2-52) v Ballymena. Continues tonight.

Section One: Carrickfergus (204) beat Templepatrick (185) by 19 runs.

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