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Villagers to be without key duo for Ulster semi-final

By Ian Callender

The first O'Neill's Ulster Cup semi-final, between North Down and Waringstown, will be decided by a 20-over game at Comber tonight (6.00pm).

Due to Waringstown's Irish Cup semi-final next weekend and the Northern Knights game this Sunday, the only date which the teams could agree on was today, but too many players had work commitments so they could not start earlier to play a full 40-over game.

Even tonight, the Villagers are without Greg Thompson and Jonathan Bushe although there is good news about injured slow bowler Gary Kidd. He is back in training and should be available for next weekend's action.

Thompson and Bushe return for tomorrow's Ulster Bank Premier League action but the leaders face potentially the most difficult game of the day, a visit to Civil Service North where they lost last season.

Waiting for any slip-up are North Down, who moved level with the Villagers after beating CSN last Sunday, and last weekend's Challenge Cup finalists CIYMS and Instonians, who are just one win behind.

North Down host bottom club Carrickfergus, CI are at home to Lisburn, while Instonians face the always tricky trip to Eaton Park to play Ballymena who are level with Lisburn and one win clear of the bottom, but have played a game more than Carrick and two more than the Wallace Park side.

Tonight: O'Neill's Ulster Cup semi-final (6.00pm): North Down v Waringstown.

Tomorrow (11.00): Ulster Bank Premier League: Ballymena v Instonians, CIYMS v Lisburn, Civil Service North v Waringstown, North Down v Carrickfergus. Sunday: Civil Service North v Lisburn.

Section One: Academy v Woodvale, Downpatrick v Derriaghy, Lurgan v Bangor, Templepatrick v Donacloney. Sunday: Cliftonville v Muckamore.

Section Two: BISC v Larne, Holywood v Laurelvale, Saintfield v Drumaness. Sunday: Cregagh v Dundrum.

Section Three: Cooke Collegians v Donaghadee, Dungannon v Ards, Millpark v Monaghan, Newforge v Dunmurry.

Armagh, our featured team in Wednesday's column, won their second final in two days with victory in the Lagan Valley Steels Twenty20 Shield, beating Larne by 36 runs at The Mall.

Colin Russell was man of the match, top scoring with 32 in Armagh's 133-8. Harry Doyle made 31.

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