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Ireland star O'Brien set for Ardmore debut in NW quarter-final


By Ian Callender

The cricket forums have been busy all week discussing Ardmore's signing of Ireland international Niall O'Brien, but on Sunday it will be the Ireland international who will hope his batting does the talking in the North West Cup quarter-final against Brigade.

The Beechgrove club had made the first move for the Ireland wicket-keeper - who has retired from Twenty20 cricket, hence his absence from the squad that is currently in Holland - but were gazumped by Ardmore, so an already attractive last eight tie has just got that little tastier.

The remaining two cup ties - Newbuildings are already through to the semi-finals - will also be played on Sunday as Donemana continue their quest for a record seventh successive Senior Cup success.

They're on the road to Coleraine, who won in the Premier League at The Holm last Saturday, which was the champions' third defeat in four league games.

Fox Lodge are the visitors to Donemana in a full league programme being contested today, and their game at Eglinton completes the Cup quarter-final picture.

In the NCU, Civil Service North are the team under pressure in the Robinson Services Premier League, and after three defeats their quest for a first win of the season takes them to Carrickfergus tomorrow.

The home side are still without professional Pat Botha, who is still working his way back from a broken thumb.

Tomorrow's fixtures (1pm): Robinson Services Premier League: Armagh v CIYMS, Carrickfergus v Civil Service North, Muckamore v Instonians, Waringstown v North Down

Section One: Bangor v Cregagh, Derriaghy v Lisburn (12.00), Donaghcloney Mill v Lurgan, Holywood v Downpatrick (12.00), Woodvale v Laurelvale

Section Two: BISC v Larne, Drumaness v Victoria (12.00). Sunday: Donaghadee v Cliftonville Academy, Belfast Superkings v Monaghan (12.00)

Long's SuperValu Premiership: Brigade v Ardmore, Coleraine v Bready, Donemana v Fox Lodge, Strabane v Eglinton

Championship: Ballyspallen v Glendermott, Killyclooney v Burndennett, Newbuildings v Bonds Glen, St Johnston v Drummond

Sunday (1pm): Bank of Ireland Senior Cup quarter-finals: Ardmore v Brigade, Coleraine v Donemana, Eglinton v Fox Lodge.

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