By Sunday night, CIYMS and Civil Service North will know each other very well but only one of them will in the Gallagher Challenge Cup final.
The two Belfast teams, whose home grounds are barely a mile apart, meet each other on successive days, in the Robinson Services Premier League at Belmont tomorrow and in the Cup semi-final on Sunday.
But CSN skipper Gary Wilson is determined to take it one game at a time and will aim to win both.
“We’ll be looking to play our best cricket and with our strongest possible side available,” said Wilson. “But they are two completely separate games between two good sides, each of whom could beat the other on the day.”
The other semi-final on Sunday is at Comber where a resurgent Instonians – they have won three of the last four league games – will hope to get the better of North Down, although, first, they will have to dismiss Ani Chore, who is unbeaten in his last two innings, scoring 261 runs.
In the North West, it’s the start of the second stage of three to decide the Long’s SuperValu Premiership with the top four teams in the two groups which formed the first half of the campaign playing the teams who finished top four in the other group.
Bready, the only team who won all seven group games have an 18 points lead, ahead of Ardmore and Newbuildings with Eglinton three points further back but Donemana are also within 25 points (the maximum for a win) of the leaders.
However, although defending champions Brigade, having lost all three games against the teams who finished above them in Group A and carry forward only four points - the fewest of the eight Premiership contenders – could still retain the title by winning the knock-out games which follow on the final three weekends of the season.
In the race for the Championship, Bonds Glen, Burndennett and St Johnston start this stage as the top three, separated by only eight points.
TOMORROW’S FIXTURES (12.00) – Robinson Services Premier League: CIYMS v Civil Service North (11.00), Instonians v Waringstown (11.00), Lisburn v Woodvale, North Down v Carrickfergus (11.00)
Section One: Bangor v Saintfield, Cregagh v Armagh (11.00), Donaghcloney Mill v Derriaghy, Muckamore v Ballymena, Templepatrick v Cliftonville Academy.
Section Two; Dundrum v BISC. Sunday: Dundrum v Cooke Collegians.
Section Three: Donaghadee v Victoria, Dunmurry v Ards (1.00).
GMcG Junior Cup: Lurgan v Laurelvale, Saintfield II v Drumaness Superkings
Long’s SuperValu Premiership: Bready v Coleraine, Brigade v Newbuildings, Donemana v Ardmore, Fox Lodge v Eglinton.
Championship: Burndennett v Glendermott, Killyclooney v St Johnston, Strabane v Ballyspallen.
SUNDAY – Gallagher Challenge Cup semi-finals (11.00): Civil Service North v CIYMS, North Down v Instonians.