Another massive weekend is in prospect for Waringstown as they fight to retain the Bob Kerr Irish Senior Cup.
The holders will have home advantage at The Lawn in tomorrow’s semi-final against The Hills, before a clash with North Down in the Premier League on Sunday
Although Waringstown will go into the weekend on the back of two recent defeats, captain Kyle McCallan remains confident.
“We have had a wobble in the league, but we scored almost 300 against CSN on Sunday and bowled well to dismiss them for 112,” he said.
“A few players have been missing, but there will be competition for places this weekend, it is great to have the likes of Johnny Bushe back in the side.
“Obviously the stand out player for The Hills is Max Sorensen, but we will worry about our game rather than the oppositions. If we play to our potential we can get the right result.
“After with winning the Irish Cup last season perhaps there was a danger of after the Lord Mayor’s show, but we want to win it again.
“We have beaten Strabane and came back from Brigade and North County with great wins which I believe has shown our fighting spirit.
“In the league our squad has been stretched to the limit, so probably we have had a greater focus and emphasis on the cup competitions this year, but no Waringstown side will ever take the pitch without a will to win.”
Much may depend on the contest between Sorensen and Waringstown professional Glenn Addicott. Addicott’s last two innings in the competition have been 116 and 94, both not out.
The top of the Premier League is starting to look congested with five teams separated by just four points, but if North Down can record two wins at the weekend and other results went in their favour that gap could become an almost insurmountable 12 points.
Saturday’s game will not be easy against a revitalised Ballymena, who have four wins from their last five games including victories over both Instonians and Waringstown. Ballymena’s David Kennedy will be looking to remind his former club that he is still a force to be reckoned with.
If Instonians are to add the league to the Challenge Cup they
need to respond from last weekend’s defeat at the hands of North Down. That may prove difficult against a Lisburn side which seemed well poised, at 177 for 2, to ask questions of Waringstown last Saturday, when the rain intervened.
For Carrickfergus without Ryan Eagleson — in Australia as coach of the Ireland under-19 squad — the gap at the bottom will seem more like a chasm if they lose to CSN at Stormont.
At Belmont the final of the Junior Cup, is between the holders Cooke Collegians and Lisburn II's with an 11am start.
FIXTURES: Tomorrow: Bob Kerr Irish Senior Cup: Donemana v Merrion; Waringstown v The Hills.
Irish National Cup: Balbriggan v Rush; Muckamore v Civil Service Dublin.
Premier League: CSNI v Carrickfergus Lisburn v Instonians North Down v Ballymena League
Section One: Cliftonville v Dundrum Holywood v Bangor Lurgan v Downpatrick Woodvale v Derriaghy League
Section Two: Academy v Saintfield Laurelvale v BISC Millpark v Drumaness Portadown v Armagh (at The Mall)
Section Three: Dungannon v Donaghadee Dunmurry v Victoria Larne v Ards
Junior Cup Final :Cooke Collegians v Lisburn II (11am at Belmont)
Sunday: Premier League: Waringstown v North Down
Section One: Cliftonville v Muckamore (at Moylena) Dundrum v Derriaghy (11.30am) Woodvale v Lurgan
Section Two: Millpark v Saintfield