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All roads now lead to Comber for cup hopefuls

By Ian Callender

The Green, Comber was confirmed as the regular home of the Ulster Bank Challenge Cup final on the day the sponsors extended their support of the competition into 2013.

Next year will be the fourth year out of five that the NCU’s showpiece fixture will be staged at North Down — the only break was for Lisburn’s 175th anniversary in 2011 — and despite being last out of the hat at yesterday’s second round draw, the hosts seem likely to start with a home game.

Although drawn away to Lisburn, as new pitches are being laid at Wallace Park there will be no league fixtures there in the first half of the season, so the game will probably be switched to The Green.

The draw was made by Ulster Bank director Stephen Cruise and Ireland coach Phil Simmons who thanked the bank for their loyalty to NCU cricket; next year will be their 20th sponsoring the League.

Simmons also revealed that, for the second summer in a row, Ireland will play three Twenty20 internationals against Bangladesh, probably in August, as another piece of the busy international fixture list was slotted into place.

The glamour game of the season will be the RSA Challenge against England on Tuesday September 3 at the new improved international venue at Malahide and yesterday Cricket Ireland announced that the 11,500 tickets for the game are now on sale.

Tickets are €40 for adults and family tickets at €99 are also available at

Ulster Bank Challenge Cup second round draw: Derriaghy v Civil Service North, Downpatrick v Carrickfergus, Lurgan v Woodvale, Dundrum or Templepatrick v Waringstown, Muckamore v Ballymena, Instonians v CIYMS, Laurelvale/Cliftonville v Donacloney, Lisburn v North Down.

Games to be played on Saturday May 25.

Belfast Telegraph

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