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Gillespie aims to retire on high by saving Strabane from relegation

By Ian Callender

Peter Gillespie brings down the curtain on an illustrious career tomorrow when the former Ireland international plays his final game for Strabane.

The one-club man is now 45-years-old and announced last week that this will be his last season, 24 years after he made the first of his 124 Ireland appearances, crowned by a game against New Zealand at the 2007 World Cup finals in Guyana.

Tomorrow's finale is the biggest game of Strabane's season, the Long's SuperValu Premiership promotion/relegation play-off against Burndennett at Bready, when the Red Caps bid to preserve their top-flight status.

The Strabane supporters will be asking why Gillespie is retiring because he has been their outstanding batsman this year with almost 600 runs at an average of 45, and it would be a fitting way to bow out if he plays another match-winning innings tomorrow.

There are a number of ex-Strabane players in the Burndennett side out to spoil Gillespie's farewell party as they aim to reach the Premiership for the first time.

The Robinson Services Premier League is more or less over, although second place to CIYMS is still up for grabs. A North Down win at Waringstown tomorrow would seal that, but the big game of the day takes place two miles away at Donaghcloney where Downpatrick must win their final game to prevent the famous club dropping into the third tier.

Fixtures: Tonight (5pm): Instonians v Civil Service North.

Tomorrow: Waringstown v North Down (3pm).

Section One: Donaghcloney Mill v Downpatrick.

Long's SuperValu Promotion/relegation play-off: Strabane v Burndennett (Bready)

Sunday: Cregagh v Woodvale.

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