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Just three Ulster teams left to spearhead Cup quest

 

By Ian Callender

There will be just three Ulster sides in next week's quarter-final draw for the Irish National Cup, all from the North West, after NCU clubs suffered a wipe-out.

Drummond won the clash with Killyclooney, which assured one North West side's progress, by 30 runs with Kyle Morrow failing just two short of a century for the winners. Professional Aaron Henry was top scorer for the home side with 51 as they were bowled out for 220.

Ballyspallen were the other Ulster side to win at home, with Gareth Burns taking 5-19 as Railway Union were dismissed off the last ball of their 40 overs for 144, and although rain reduced Ballyspallen's innings to 38 overs, they reached their target for the loss of just four wickets, North West Warrior Graham Kennedy hitting 74.

St Johnston complete Ulster's interest in the last eight, also winning on the DLS method by four wickets against Templepatrick, reaching their target of 112 in 22 overs with one ball to spare.

It was just as close in Limerick where Cregagh came out on the wrong end of a thriller. Aaron Johnston top scored with 43 in the NCU side's 208-8 but the Munster side passed the target with nine wickets down.

Rush, the 2015 and 2016 winners, remain the team to beat in this competition, and in the match of the round Lisburn fell 85 runs short in Kenure. Former Ireland international Conor Armstrong hit the only century of the day, 101 from 83 balls with 12 fours and three sixes, in the home side's 223-7, but despite a run-a-ball 51 from Johnny Waite, Lisburn were bowled out inside 26 overs.

Holywood were the surprise losers of the day as they found the long trip to Co Galway too much, bowled out for 138, and the home side eased into the last eight by seven wickets with 10 overs to spare, completing a miserable day for the NCU after five of the seven Irish Cup survivors crashed out in the Irish Cup.

Glendermott were the only North West side to miss out in the National Cup, beaten by 81 runs by Knockharley, although David Cooke hit a defiant 84.

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