Civil Service North may have to play both their Ulster Bank Premier League title showdowns against North Down without Kiwi professional Ewen Thompson.
The New Zealander is due to return home after next weekend's games against Derriaghy and Instonians and, following Saturday's latest wash-out, is set to miss the Stormont side's last four games including the clashes against the defending champions.
Thompson is only contracted to return to Central Districts from October 1 so CSN will, this week, try and persuade their key all-rounder to stay, at least until the first clash of the season between the top two, at Stormont on Sunday week. The teams are not due to play the return, at Comber until the final Saturday of the season,September 27.
Thompson has already told the club he will not be returning next year because he wants to concentrate on provincial cricket in New Zealand and try and break into the Black Caps Test or one-day line-up.
CSN and North Down finally got back in the middle yesterday and both contemptuously swept to easy victories, keeping them deadlocked at the top of the Ulster Bank Premier League table.
After a fourth Saturday wash-out in five weeks, the joint leaders both played reduced overs games and they were won in double quick time.
Only three overs were lost at Stormont but Lisburn, without professional Gerry Strydom who has returned to South Africa, were dismissed inside 33 overs, bowled out for 81.
CSN were taking no chances of rain ruining this match and 15.1 overs later it was all over, Wayne Horwood finishing 48 not out from 50 balls as the hosts won by eight wickets.
North Down had it even easier in a 21 overs game against Derriaghy, which was switched to Comber. The champions bowled out their visitors for just 58 and Derriaghy then appeared to give up, opening the bowling with Matthew Jennings and Stuart McAllister.
Ryan Haire wasn’t going to turn down this gift and scored 45, all but one of them in boundaries, as North Down won in 4.2 overs!