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Coleraine have the honour of getting local cricket campaign under way at long last

 

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Coleraine will host the first competitive cricket of the season when they play Ballyspallen in the opening game in Group 1 of the T20 Cup on Friday week, July 17. (stock photo)

Coleraine will host the first competitive cricket of the season when they play Ballyspallen in the opening game in Group 1 of the T20 Cup on Friday week, July 17. (stock photo)

Coleraine will host the first competitive cricket of the season when they play Ballyspallen in the opening game in Group 1 of the T20 Cup on Friday week, July 17. (stock photo)

Coleraine will host the first competitive cricket of the season when they play Ballyspallen in the opening game in Group 1 of the T20 Cup on Friday week, July 17.

The 15 Premiership and Championship teams have been divided into four regionalised groups to cut down on travel and Eglinton complete the three-team Group 1. The other 12 teams will get their season under way the following day with Brigade, last year's Premiership and Senior Cup double winners, hosting St Johnston and, in the other Group 2 game, Glendermott are at home to Newbuildings.

Bready will be favourites to win Group 3 and they start with an away game against Burndennett, with Strabane and Fox Lodge, their future opponents, meeting at Strabane Park.

Donemana, who won the T20 Cup last year, start their defence at home to Ardmore with Killyclooney facing Bonds Glen in the other opening-day Group 4 game.

All the teams in Groups 2-4 will play each other home and away with the three teams in Group 1 playing each other three times.

The winners of the four groups go through to the semi-finals, to be played on the weekend of August 29-30 with the final the following weekend and the winners representing the North West on All-Ireland T20 finals day, which is scheduled for September 19.

Cricket Ireland released the Safe Return to Play protocols yesterday to allow the season to begin, and confirmed the T20 Cup will be the only national club competition, with no Irish Cup or National Cup this season.

Full fixture list

Friday, July 17: Coleraine v Ballyspallen

Saturday, July 18: Killyclooney v Bonds Glen, Donemana v Ardmore, Brigade v St Johnston, Glendermott v Newbuildings, Burndennett v Bready, Strabane v Fox Lodge, Eglinton v Coleraine.

Saturday, July 25: Ardmore v Killyclooney, Bonds Glen v Donemana, St Johnston v Glendermott, Newbuildings v Brigade, Bready v Strabane, Fox Lodge v Burndennett, Ballyspallen v Eglinton.

Saturday, August 1: Killyclooney v Donemana, Ardmore v Bonds Glen, St Johnston v Newbuildings, Brigade v Glendermott, Bready v Fox Lodge, Strabane v Burndennett, Ballyspallen v Coleraine.

Sunday, August 2: Eglinton v Ballyspallen

Saturday, August 8: Bonds Glen v Killyclooney, Ardmore v Donemana, St Johnston v Brigade, Newbuildings v Glendermott, Bready v Burndennett, Fox Lodge v Strabane, Coleraine v Eglinton.

Saturday, August 15: Killyclooney v Ardmore, Donemana v Bonds Glen, Glendermott v St Johnston, Brigade v Newbuildings, Strabane v Bready, Burndennett v Fox Lodge, Eglinton v Ballyspallen.

Sunday, August 16: Ballyspallen v Coleraine.

Saturday, August 22: Donemana v Killyclooney, Bonds Glen v Ardmore, Glendermott v Brigade, Newbuildings v St Johnston, Fox Lodge v Bready, Burndennett v Strabane, Coleraine v Eglinton.

Belfast Telegraph