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Unbeaten Lurgan favourites to seal league and cup double

 

By Ian Callender

The AJG Women's (T20) Challenge Cup final takes place on Sunday at Pollock Park when runaway Division One winners Lurgan host North Down (noon).

Lurgan have won every match this season, including the league game against North Down by six wickets when captain Hannah Grieve hit 53 not out.

The Comber side, who were under-strength that day, have won their cup games by nine wickets, 73 runs and, in the semi-final by 10 wickets against Instonians. Lurgan's men are ensconced mid-table and set for a fifth successive season in Gardiner Bros Section One, but top-flight cricket will take place at The Mall next year if Armagh win one of their last three games.

Indeed, promotion and the Section One title will be confirmed on Saturday if they win at Holywood or if Donaghcloney Mill and Woodvale both lose.

Armagh have won 12 of their 15 games and will be confident of sealing the deal this weekend as they are on a winning run of six games - since they lost to Donaghcloney Mill on July 8.

At the other end of the table, Academy are favourites to fall through the trap door. They are 14 points from safety but still have five games left, while the second relegation place is set to go the wire with just two points separating Derriaghy (five games to play) and Cliftonville and Bangor (both three games to play) with Holywood (four games to play) just four points higher up the table.

Cregagh and Laurelvale seem certain to be promoted from Section Two but the title race is very much on.

There has been virtually nothing between the teams all year with Cregagh holding a four points advantage - both with four games to play - because they won the opening game of the teams by eight runs; the return match at Cregagh last month was tied.

Cregagh's only defeat this season was against Donaghadee who they still have to play in the return game at Northfield on Saturday week while Laurelvale also have the chance of revenge against BSIC on September 9. This Saturday, it is Laurelvale who are at home to Donaghadee while Cregagh are away to Templepatrick.

Dundrum are still propping up the table with only two wins and look doomed with Cooke Collegians who are four points above them. Donaghadee and Saintfield, eight points clear of CC, are the only teams in danger.

Section Three leaders Dunmurry have finished their season on 28 points but three teams are queuing up on 24 points - Drumaness with two to play, Victoria with three to play and Newforge who finish on Saturday.

The decisive game is scheduled for Monday evening (5pm) when Drumaness host Victoria.

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