Belfast Telegraph

Home Sport Cricket

Instonians out to put an end to North Down's title bid

By Ian Callender

With Ireland not in action tomorrow, club cricket takes centre stage and, in the NCU, Instonians can put the final nail in North Down's title ambitions with victory in the top Ulster Bank Premier League game of the day.

In two weeks' time, Instonians will return to Comber for the Challenge Cup final against CIYMS but first they will attempt to make it two wins from two visits this season, following their Twenty20 Cup success at the start of last month.

The 17 runs victory that night was not enough to give them a semi-final berth but they know a win tomorrow will guarantee them four points and keep the defending champions in the slipstream of leaders Waringstown, with a match in hand.

Former international Andrew White scored 92 in the T20 game and is averaging 110 in the 50-over games he has played this season - second only to James Hall - so is sure to be a key player on his return to his former club.

Hall is back in the Waringstown line-up after injury and although they will be still without Gary Kidd, nursing a broken thumb, and Under-19 internationals Adam Dennison and James Mitchell, they should still have more than enough to preserve their outright lead with victory over Lisburn at The Lawn.

CIYMS, also still on course for a league and cup double, are in back to back action with today's 39 overs game (2.00pm start) at Ballymena followed by a home game against Carrickfergus.

In the North West, there is a crucial top of the table clash between Donemana and Brigade at the Holm. It's a game that the home side cannot afford to lose because, if Coleraine beat Eglinton at Sandel Lodge then Donemana would be four points off the pace, having played a game more than their two rivals.

And they must play the game without the McClintock twins, Gary and William, who, like the Waringstown duo, are in Jersey at the European Championships.

Although the Under-19 tournament is due to be completed tomorrow, Sunday is an official reserve day, so the players will miss the O'Neill's Ulster Cup quarter-finals when Donemana travel to North Down and Waringstown head in the opposite direction to Brigade, while coach Ryan Eagleson could be a big miss for Carrickfergus at Eglinton.

One NCU team is sure to be in the semi-finals after Instonians home game against Civil Service North, who surprisingly won the league game at Stormont two weeks ago.

Today: Lagan Valley Steels Twenty20 Trophy Final (6pm): Cliftonville v Muckamore (Carrickfergus)

Ulster Bank Premier League (2pm): Ballymena v CIYMS

Saturday (11am): Ballymena v Civil Service North, CIYMS v Carrickfergus, North Down v Instonians, Waringstown v Lisburn

Section One: Cliftonville v Donacloney, Derriaghy v Academy, Downpatrick v Woodvale, Lurgan v Templepatrick, Muckamore v Bangor

Section Two: Cregagh v Saintfield, Drumaness v Larne, Holywood v Victoria. Sunday: BISC v Saintfield

Section Three: Cooke Collegians v Ards, Dungannon v Millpark, Monaghan v Dunmurry, Newforge v Donaghadee. Sunday: Cooke Collegians v Millpark

Long's SuperValu Premiership (12.00): Coleraine v Eglinton, Donemana v Brigade, St Johnston v Bready, Strabane v Ardmore

Championship: Bonds Glen v Burndennett, Creevedonnell v Fox Lodge, Glendermott v Drummond, Newbuildings v Killyclooney

Sunday: O'Neill's Ulster Cup (1.00): Instonians v Civil Service North, North Down v Donemana, Brigade v Waringstown, Eglinton v Carrickfergus

Belfast Telegraph


From Belfast Telegraph