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Bready out to deliver as the heat rises in title battle

By Ian Callender

The North West season gathers pace this weekend with the first league double-header, and every Senior One team, bar Creevedonnell (who do not play at home on Sundays) and Limavady, in back-to-back action.

Bready, one of only three teams who have won their first matches, have two away dates but will expect to make it four from four after visits to Glendermott and Bonds Glen.

The Cup holders have made an impressive start to their league campaign with victories over Coleraine and defending champions Brigade with professional Aga Sabir the outstanding performer.

Both opponents this weekend have lost their first two matches and are favourites to stay in the drop zone from which two teams will be relegated this season as the North West join the other two major provinces with eight-team top sections in 2013.

Strabane and Donemana are the other teams with a 100% record but will have to be at their best to be in the same position by Sunday night.

Donemana will be expected to beat Fox Lodge but first they have to visit Limavady for today’s match of the day, the Roesiders keen to bounce back from their Irish Cup humiliation at Terenure.

More significantly, Limavady lost to Strabane in their last league match and the common link between both defeats was the failure of the top order batsmen. Indeed Decker Curry has been the top scorer in both league games, batting at No 5, and when he was out for a golden duck in Dublin, the writing was on the wall. Of the rest only captain Andrew Riddles had got past 30 so far so Donemana bowlers will be keen to maintain the pressure today.

Strabane have the most difficult double-header with today’s game at Coleraine followed by the visit of Brigade. The Bannsiders enjoyed a run-fest in their last two games, piling up 346 against Fox Lodge and last week their in-form batsman took it out on Lurgan. Apart from Sabir, young Coleraine batsman Scott Campbell has scored the only century in the North West this season.

All Thursday night’s Faughan Valley matches were rained off and will be rearranged for next week.

Today’s fixtures: Long’s SuperValu Senior One: Brigade v Bonds Glen, Coleraine v Strabane, Creevedonnell v Fox Lodge, Glendermott v Bready, Limavady v Donemana; Sunday: Bonds Glen v Bready, Coleraine v Glendermott, Donemana v Fox Lodge, Strabane v Brigade.

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