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Cup's last eight draw is kind as Ulster teams get home advantage

 

By Ian Callender

It was another kind draw for Ulster teams in the Irish Cup when all three sides in the last eight were given home advantage in the quarter-finals.

Holders Waringstown will face Pembroke, second round conquerors of North Down at Comber, and Civil Service North, after a straightforward win over Balbriggan in the previous round, will host Clontarf at Stormont.

Strabane, the only North West survivors from the first round, followed up with victory over Muckamore in round two and have been rewarded with a game against Phoenix, who knocked out an under-strength Instonians side at Shaw's Bridge in the last round.

Waringstown will be confident of extending their impressive recent Irish Cup record - they have won 14 of their last 15 in the competition - with another victory over the team they beat in the semi-finals in 2015 and 2017, the two years they have won the trophy.

But CSN, despite their unbeaten record in 50-over Cup matches this season, face much more formidable opposition with the visit of Clontarf, Leinster League winners in two of the last three seasons and three-times Senior Cup winners since 2012.

The remaining quarter-final will be at Anglesea Road, where CIYMS bowed out in the last round, with Merrion at home again this time to defending but fading Leinster League champions Leinster, who ended Carrickfergus's interest

Ulster Schools completed a remarkable turnaround thanks to Methody's James Hunter to win the inter-provincial against Leinster Schools by seven wickets.

Needing 34 to avoid the follow on at the start of the final day, Hunter and Matthew Foster put on 96 for the last wicket and then with Hunter taking two wickets for five runs, they bowled out the visitors for 181.

Set 219 to win, Hunter, who finished 100 not out in the first innings, then hit 63 not out, sharing an unbeaten fourth wicket stand of 135 with Coleraine Grammar's Marcus Poskitt, who scored 62.

Irish Cup quarter-final draw: Waringstown v Pembroke, Strabane v Phoenix, Civil Service North v Clontarf, Merrion v Leinster.

National Cup quarter-finals: Knockharley v Limerick, St Johnston v Ballyspallen, Rush v Drummond, Co Kerry v Co Galway.

All games on Sunday, July 15

Belfast Telegraph

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