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McBrine is ready to fire for Donemana

 

By Ian Callender

Andy McBrine returns to the Donemana team and is ready to bowl in the Bank of Ireland Senior Cup semi-final against Bready today.

The Irish international has been absent from the attack for the last month and missing from the team for the last two weeks but, with perfect timing, he is available for a game in which victory will put them through to their seventh successive Cup final.

Indeed, it is all good news for the holders with only Dwayne McGerrigle, who is on holiday, missing from their first-choice line-up and as he is replaced by Junior McBrine, it hardly weakens the team.

The other three semi-finalists were hoping to avoid the Cup specialists but at least Bready have home advantage on a ground where Donemana have slipped up in recent visits in the Premiership.

Craig Young is available after coming through the Ireland Wolves match in midweek - he took four wickets in the first innings - and that is the biggest boost for Bready as they bid to become the first team to beat Donemana since their two-innings victory in the 2011 Cup final.

However, a home tie may not necessarily be to Bready's' advantage because, incredibly, it is 11 years since Donemana last lost an away one-innings game in the Cup - at Strabane.

The other semi-final will provide the underdogs in the final with Championship side Ballyspallen, who have not been in the two-day decider since 2005, hosting Fox Lodge, one game away from their first.

• Two former Waringstown 1st XI cricketers have been suspended from all cricket until next season after receiving record bans from the NCU's Disciplinary Committee

After Alan Harrison dismissed Ian Morrison in a Junior 1 League game between Waringstown II and Waringstown III, the first cousins squared up to each other. Following a report from the umpires, Morrison has been banned until June 15 next year and Harrison until May 15.

On the field last night, Instonians stormed through to qualify for next Saturday's Lagan Valley Steels Twenty20 Cup semi-finals. Their eight-wicket victory over Lisburn (109 all out) was enough for them to leapfrog Civil Service North, who lost to group winners Muckamore (114-6) by nine runs at Moylena.

Waringstown won Group B with a seven-wicket win over Carrickfergus (131-7) at The Lawn while North Down's 32-run win over CIYMS (155-5) at The Green was just enough for them to pip the losers to second place on run-rate.

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