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CI sweating over fitness of Cameron-Dow and Nigel Jones

By Ian Callender

James Cameron-Dow is an injury doubt for Saturday's Ulster Bank Premier League rematch between CIYMS and Waringstown at Belmont.

One of the batting heroes of CI's last-ball Challenge Cup victory last weekend, Cameron-Dow hurt his foot during the game and it swelled up afterwards.

A decision will be taken tomorrow to see if the Northern Knight, whose main contribution to the team is as a slow bowler, can take his place.

Nigel Jones is also struggling with a hand injury and figures of 10 overs, one for 68 last Saturday underlined that, but he is expected to play in what could be a pivotal league game for the title favourites.

Waringstown meet Instonians tomorrow night in a third and final attempt to play their league game postponed on May 2 and if the Villagers win the 20 overs game, they will move four points clear at the top of the table, meaning the pressure will be piled on CI to make it back to back successes against their rivals to avoid falling eight points behind.

"A Waringstown win would obviously make our game even more important," said CI skipper Chris Dougherty, "and although three defeats might be enough to win the league, it could be as few as two.

"Instonians are looking good (they will go top with a win tomorrow) and Waringstown are always strong so it promises to be a great scrap.

"Waringstown are a hard team to beat and one of our top four has to go big with the bat, although if Jonesy and JT (Johnny Thompson) are fully fit then we will back ourselves to bowl out any team but, at the moment, our priority is getting them fit!"

Dougherty was the batsman to go big in the thrilling cup tie last week - 132 was his highest score for the club - and although he was out at the start of the last over, with 10 runs still needed for victory, Cameron-Dow saw them home.

"We have a strong batting line-up and Nathan Burns and JCD kept picking off the ones and twos and we were never out of it even chasing 267, which was about 15 more than I would have liked at half-time," added the captain.

"I hope the league match will be easier but the guys will have to play at the top of their game, nothing less will do if you want to beat Waringstown."

The Villagers needed only 24 hours to make up for the disappointment of their Challenge Cup semi-final when they won their Irish Cup quarter-final against Clontarf, a game that turned into another thriller with the Leinster Cup holders falling just six runs short in their chase of 316.

In the game, South African professional Ruhan Pretorius became the first NCU player to hit six sixes in an over since Lisburn counterpart Gerry Strydom did so in 2008, and if he can do it once…

Last week's other cup semi-final, between Civil Service North and Instonians, is also repeated at Stormont for league points on Saturday and the latest relegation battle takes place at Middle Road where Carrickfergus, still looking for their elusive first win, are set to face Ballymena.

FIXTURES - Tonight (6.15pm): Lagan Valley Steels Twenty20 Trophy semi-finals: Derriaghy v Muckamore, Cliftonville v Academy (6pm)

Lagan Valley Steels Twenty 20 Shield semi-finals: Armagh v Saintfield, Larne v Holywood

Tomorrow Ireland U17s v Northern Knights U21s (Belmont 10am)

Ulster Bank Premier League: Instonians v Waringstown (6pm, T20)

Saturday (11am): Carrickfergus v Ballymena, CIYMS v Waringstown, Civil Service North v Instonians, Lisburn v North Down

Section One: Cliftonville v Academy, Derriaghy v Muckamore, Donacloney v Downpatrick, Templepatrick v Bangor, Woodvale v Lurgan. Sunday: Cliftonville v Derriaghy, Downpatrick v Bangor, Muckamore v Lurgan (1pm T20).

Section Two: Cregagh v BISC, Drumaness v Dundrum, Larne v Holywood, Laurelvale v Saintfield, Victoria v Armagh (at Millpark). Sunday: Dundrum v Larne (1pm, T20)

Section Three: Ards v Millpark, Donaghadee v Dungannon, Dunmurry v Cooke Collegians, Monaghan v Newforge.

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