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The battle is on to secure the Junior Cup final spots

By Ian Callender

The semi-finals of the Goldblatt McGuigan Junior Cup were victims of the weather last Saturday and will be replayed, to a conclusion this time, on Sunday. Academy were on top at the Castle Grounds against North Down II who, despite an unbeaten 56 from Robin Haire, were bowled out for 131.

The Section Two league leaders were 25 without loss after six overs when the rain arrived.

Lisburn II would also have been confident of reaching 192 at Saintfield in the other semi-final, having scored 60 for one when the game was abandoned.

The Intermediate Cup finalists are Woodvale II and Derriaghy II who meet at Pollock Park on August 16.

Woodvale II won a thriller against Ballymena II by three runs and on Monday night Arron Kinnin's unbeaten 81 saw Derriaghy to a six-wickets win over North Down III who had made 179.

Ballymena, requiring 214, needed just six runs to win off the last over with five wickets left. But Peter Gregg, who had already reached his 50, was caught on the boundary by Thomas Hill. A run-out followed and a stumping off the last ball gave Woodvale victory. Chris Campbell was top scorer for the winners with 69; William Fraser hit 47.

Saturday is semi-final day in the other two NCU cup competitions. Donghadee II, who have won two close matches to reach the last four, will be underdogs against Instonians III, who are two sections above them. In the other game Muckamore III are favourites to repeat last Saturday's convincing nine wickets league win over CIYMS III.

In the Minor Qualifying Cup, the top two in Junior League Seven will be hot favourites to meet in the final. Leaders, Armagh III, are away to Donacloney III, one Section below them, and Ballymena IV, who have lost only once, will expect a more comfortable game against Junior Eight strugglers Larne II after winning their quarter-final against Cregagh III on fewer wickets lost.

Belfast Telegraph


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