Big two focus on final fling
Published 24/08/2007 | 12:35
The outstanding North Down-Waringstown Ulster Bank Premier League clash could be the teams' final game of the season with the championship title up for grabs.
There has still been no date confirmed for the clash between the NCU's top two teams and with North Down having only one other game to arrange, their match against the defending champions at The Green is heading for a last day showdown.
The holiday weekend action - and for once the scheduled programme seems set to beat the weather - should go a long way towards determining whether one or other of the Big Two can take a decisive advantage because by Monday night North Down should have played three more games and Waringstown two, leaving the Comber side with three to play and the Villagers five.
Waringstown are so far behind because on the last two weekends they were scheduled to play five games and all FIVE failed to finish. They have a chance to play four of them again so, for the moment, there is no end to the season in sight for Johnny Bushe's side.
Opposite number Peter Shields is hoping that the backlog will work to North Down's advantage and he acknowledges: "If we win all three games this weekend it will put pressure on Waringstown but because they have lost two fewer games, we know we cannot afford to slip up."
Although North Down will be expected to win all three games this weekend, because of the seven-way fight to beat the drop there will be no easy matches.
Both Waringstown's games are against Civil Service North - the game at The Lawn is tomorrow - and although they have failed to complete a match for three weeks, they continue to show good form in the games that have got under way. Depending on Ireland's progress against Bermuda this weekend, Kyle McCallan may be back for Sunday's action.
Fixtures - Tomorrow (12.00): Ulster Bank Premier League: Bangor v Instonians, Carrickfergus v Derriaghy, Downpatrick v Lurgan, North Down v Lisburn, Waringstown v Civil Service North.
Section Two: Armagh v Muckamore, CIYMS v Dunmurry, Cliftonville v Ballymena, Cooke Collegians v Muckamore, Laurelvale v Holywood.
Section Three: Academy v Saintfield, Drumaness v Donacloney, Dundrum v Dungannon, Millpark v Larne, Templepatrick v Portadown.
Section Four: Ards v PSNI, Clogher v Donaghadee.
Sunday (12.00): Premier League: Derriaghy v Instonians, Civil Service North v Waringstown, North Down v Carrickfergus.
Section Two: Armagh v Cliftonville, Dunmurry v CIYMS, Laurelvale v Woodvale.
Section Three: Saintfield v Dundrum, Templepatrick v Dungannon.