Derriaghy and Strabane flying flag for Ulster in Cup
Derriaghy and Strabane are the sole Ulster representatives in Sunday's quarter-finals of the Irish National Cup. It is hardly coincidence that both sides were in the top flight - and Irish Cup - last season although Derriaghy's league form hardly suggests they can approach their home game against Knockharley with confidence.
The Co Meath club have knocked out Cork Harlequins and Newbuildings to reach this stage, with the NCU side getting past St Johnston and Sion Mills for the loss of only five wickets.
Strabane are in a much better place in the Long's SuperValu Championship, top of the table by four points at the halfway stage and after beating Cliftonville and Cregagh, the latter thanks to Aaron Gillespie's 145, have also been favoured with a home draw in the quarter-final against Co Kerry.
There is an equal split of NCU and North West sides in the last four of the Ulster Plate so there will be one semi-final played in each union on Sunday, July 30.
Brigade II, last year's beaten finalists, have been rewarded for their quarter-final victory on Sunday with a home tie against Civil Service North II, leaving CIYMS II to host Donemana II in the other semi-final.
CIYMS bowled out holders Bready II for just 71 and won by four wickets while two of the more experienced Donemana players (to be polite) were the star performers in their 138 runs win over Lisburn II, Richard Dougherty top scoring with 54 and Junior McBrine taking 4-21.
David Murdock followed up his undefeated century in the first round with 70 not out in Brigade's seven wicket win over Waringstown II while CSN completed a very satisfying weekend with a 43 runs success over Muckamore II.
It started on Saturday with a 67 runs win over Saintfield in the semi-final of the GMcG Junior Cup when Josh McKinney hit 108. In the final on August 5 they will play Instonians II who defended 142 against Templepatrick for a 27-run (DLS) victory.
The NCU beat North West in the women's inter-pro at Fox Lodge on Sunday by five wickets. Karen Haslett was the game's top scorer with 40 for the home side but an unbeaten 24 by captain Hannah Grieve saw the NCU to their victory target of 106.
Meanwhile, the union's Under-17 girls meet in a 30-over game at Stormont today (noon).
Starting an hour earlier is a game between Ireland Schools and the Ireland Under-17s at Campbell College. There are six Ulster boys on the Schools side and four on the 17s.
Ireland Schools: S Doheny (capt), S Nelson, J Burton, R Kelly, M Lightbody, J Metcalfe, D Robinson, D Brogan, S Gupta, J Little, C O'Gorman, A Vincent.
Ireland U17s: H Tector (capt), V Chopra, A Clarke, G McFaul, M Poskitt, I Anders, A Cawley, JJ Garth, S Jones, R McGovern, C Nulty, N Rock.
- NCU and Leinster meet today at Balrothery to decide the winners of the Under-13 inter-provincial championship.