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North Down face steep Hills task in bid for cricket cup glory


Fresh face: CIYMS and signing Nigel Jones will battle Merrion

Fresh face: CIYMS and signing Nigel Jones will battle Merrion

Fresh face: CIYMS and signing Nigel Jones will battle Merrion

North Down are going to have to do it the hard way if they are to end a 20-year wait for Irish Cup glory. The Comber side won the only all-Ireland trophy three times between 1989 and 1995 but have not reached the final since and they must get past the holders if they are to progress beyond the first round next year.

The game against The Hills is a repeat of last year's thrilling semi-final at The Green when only three runs separated the teams but this time it will be even harder for North Down as they have to travel.

CIYMS, with new signings Nigel Jones, James Cameron-Dow and Johnny Thompson on board, have drawn a plum home tie against Merrion, the three-times finalists since 2010 and Woodvale, after their promotion from Section One, have been drawn to host Dublin kingpins YMCA.

Pick of the five ties in the North West is Senior Cup holders Donemana's clash with five-times winners North County, while league champions Strabane must head south to face Kevin O'Brien's Railway Union.

Irish Cup first round draw: Waringstown v St Johnston, Ballymena v Ardmore, Instonians v Malahide, CIYMS v Merrion, Woodvale v YMCA, Glendermott v Lisburn, Coleraine v Muckamore, Brigade v Civil Service North, Donemana v North County, Eglinton v Pembroke, Clontarf v Cork County, Railway Union v Strabane, Terenure v Bready, The Hills v North Down, Leinster v Carrickfergus, Co Galway v Fox Lodge.

National Cup first round draw: Templepatrick v Rush, Holywood v Civil Service, Downpatrick v Killyclooney, Academy v Burndennett, Creevedonnell v Dundrum (LCU), Ballyspallen v Laois, Newbuildings v Lurgan, Bonds Glen v Bangor, Ballbriggan v Cliftonville, Phoenix v Derriaghy, North Kildare v Drummond, Greystones v Sion Mills.

Belfast Telegraph