Belfast Telegraph

Thursday 18 September 2014

NCU chiefs forced into making Irish Cup plea

Under the covers: The wet weather had the final say in the Carrick v Merrion clash at Middle Road, Carrickfergus

The Northern Cricket Union is to ask Cricket Ireland if it can play the postponed Bob Kerr Irish Cup ties involving its three member clubs the weekend after the nominated reserve date of May 29.

The first weather interruption of the season has immediately brought a clash of dates because Sunday week is also second round in the Ulster Bank Challenge Cup and the NCU is keen that their eight games go ahead that day.

That would mean their governing body, Cricket Ireland, agreeing to let Lisburn, Civil Service North and North Down put back their Irish Cup ties against Pembroke, Bonds Glen and Brigade respectively to June 5.

One stumbling block to the NCU's request is that the next round of the Irish Cup is on Saturday, June 11 while the third round of the Challenge Cup is not until the following Saturday so, purely in chronological order, the last 16 in the Irish Cup needs to be decided before the last eight of the provincial competition.

However, NCU General Secretary Bryan Milford yesterday said they he would be hoping for agreement from CI because they have already given up one Saturday this season.

"We have lost a round of league fixtures on May 28 because we agreed to make it a closed date to accommodate Ireland's one-day international against Pakistan at Stormont that day," said Milford.

"So we just have no other free dates for cup rearrangements. It just underlines the need for eight-team leagues." In all, five Irish Cup ties were postponed before a ball could be bowled on Saturday, four of them in the North West which got so much rain that yesterday's inter-provincial between North and South at Bready was called off on Saturday!

The Ireland hopefuls, looking for a chance to break into the international squad, will not get a chance to play a representative game until the return match in Dublin in August and the familiar faces will be selected later this week for the first two ODI's of the summer. The other two postponed Irish Cup games will go ahead on Sunday week with Limavady at The Hills, with the tie of the round going to Dublin where Railway Union host Strabane.

It was good day, though, for North West clubs on Saturday with all but two of the six who played reaching the second round - and Fox Lodge will say it should have been five.

In what proved to be the last over of their match against Instonians, there were only three fielders inside the circle but the umpires missed it - so didn't call a no-ball - and when the over ended, the Foxes were one run short of the Duckworth/Lewis par score.

Glendermott chased down Bangor's 108, thanks to professional Roy Silva's unbeaten 54. The Londonderry side won by six wickets.

Bready's victory against CIYMS at Belmont was just as comfortable.

The CI innings was interrupted twice and Bready were set three different targets. They eventually had more than six overs to spare when they reached the final one of 106 but they lost seven wickets and a second over from Stephen McChesney, rather the return of Peter Connell (5.3 overs, one for 38) may have paid dividends for CI. The pace men eased the visitors home.

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