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Gibson revelling in Woodvale's overdue return to the big time

 

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It has been the perfect start in what is set to be the perfect season for Woodvale. (stock photo)

It has been the perfect start in what is set to be the perfect season for Woodvale. (stock photo)

It has been the perfect start in what is set to be the perfect season for Woodvale. (stock photo)

It has been the perfect start in what is set to be the perfect season for Woodvale.

With all club cricket restricted to 20-over matches, there is no promotion or relegation this year, so the famous Ballygomartin Road club - who were last in the top flight in 2009 - have what skipper Jamie Gibson describes as a free hit over their eight-match season.

"It's very rare you have the opportunity to have seven games, eight including the T20 Cup, to bed in, but they are still competitive and a great challenge," says Gibson, one of three survivors from the team that had a one-season stay in the Premier League 11 summers ago.

After wins at Lisburn and at home to Carrickfergus last Saturday, that challenge is upped a notch this weekend when Waringstown and champions CIYMS, in their postponed T20 Cup tie, are the visitors.

"It's great to get the big teams up to Ballygomartin Road again and show off our facilities. They'll notice a big difference. The bar will be open and hopefully we will get a big crowd, socially distanced of course."

Apart from the experienced Paul Robinson and Timmy Browne, new signings Harry Warke and Pavan Karthik both played Premier League cricket last season with Carrickfergus and Muckamore, but Kyle Walsh, who bowled well in the win against Carrick, has joined from Holywood and is revelling in the higher standard.

Tomorrow's fixtures (2.00) - Robinson Services League Cup: Carrickfergus v CIYMS (12.30), Civil Service North v Lisburn (11.30), North Down v Instonians, Woodvale v Waringstown.

RS Trophy: Armagh v Cregagh, Donaghcloney Mill v Derriaghy, Muckamore v Ballymena (12.00), Saintfield v Downpatrick (1.00), Templepatrick v Cliftonville Academy (12.00).

RS Bowl: Cooke Collegians v Laurelvale (1.00), Victoria v Lurgan, Ards v Bangor (12.00), Holywood v Donaghadee, BISC v Dunmurry, Drumaness Superkings v Dundrum.

Long's SuperValu T20 Championship: Ballyspallen v Coleraine, Brigade v Glendermott, St Johnston v Newbuildings, Bready v Fox Lodge, Strabane v Burndennett, Ardmore v Bonds Glen. Postponed: Killyclooney v Donemana. Sunday: Eglinton v Ballyspallen.

Sunday - Lagan Valley Steels T20 Cup quarter-final: Woodvale v CIYMS (12.00)

T20 Trophy: Cregagh v Armagh, Saintfield v Muckamore

Belfast Telegraph