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Coleraine have chance to turn up the heat on relegation foes

The automatic relegation spot in the Long's SuperValu Premiership will not be decided until Sunday after the North West confirmed the rearrangement dates for last Saturday's games, all wiped out by the rain (stock photo)
The automatic relegation spot in the Long's SuperValu Premiership will not be decided until Sunday after the North West confirmed the rearrangement dates for last Saturday's games, all wiped out by the rain (stock photo)

By Ian Callender

The automatic relegation spot in the Long's SuperValu Premiership will not be decided until Sunday after the North West confirmed the rearrangement dates for last Saturday's games, all wiped out by the rain.

Strabane, currently propping up the table, cannot play their final game against Brigade until Sunday because their 2nd XI have a home match on Saturday, and it is the same scenario which postpones the crucial clash between two of the bottom four, Ballyspallen and Glendermott.

The other team in danger is Coleraine and they are first into action, at Eglinton on Saturday. If they lose and pick up fewer than two points, they are certain to face at least a relegation play-off against the Championship runners-up - and will be automatically relegated if Strabane beat the champions the following day.

However, victory for the Bannsiders, or a narrow defeat, will leave the losers of the game at Ballyspallen forced to pick up points to avoid a bottom-two finish - and even automatic relegation if the Red Caps win.

If teams finish level on points, net run rate will decide the final places and Coleraine currently have the best of the bottom four, with Glendermott's comfortably the worst.

Heading into the last round of games, the points are Ballyspallen 109, Glendermott 108, Coleraine 106 and Strabane 93.

Fox Lodge will have a major say in who is promoted to the top flight as league champions as their last two games are against the top two.

First up they will travel to Ardmore on Saturday, who while losing the final of the National Cup on Sunday also lost the league leadership to Burndennett, the Foxes' opponents on Sunday.

But Burndennett's lead, despite a 10-wicket victory over Newbuildings last Sunday, is only 17 points, so if Ardmore win both their final two games - they are at home to Killyclooney on Sunday - they will still win automatic promotion and send Burndennett, with only one match left, into the promotion/relegation play-off.

There are three North West Warriors players in the Ireland Academy side which begins a four-day game against Gloucestershire 2nd XI at Bristol CC today.

Academy squad: J Tector (capt), R Allen, M Ellison, M Foster, A Frost, G Hume, G Kennedy, J Manley, N McGuire, C McLoughlin-Gavin, N Rock, M Thompson.

Weekend fixtures: Saturday: Premiership: Bready v Donemana, Eglinton v Coleraine. Championship: Ardmore v Fox Lodge, Bonds Glen v Newbulldings.

Sunday: Premiership: Ballyspallen v Glendermott, Strabane v Brigade. Championship: Ardmore v Killyclooney, Fox Lodge v Burndennett.

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