Barely a month into the season and Donemana face a make or break match tomorrow if they are to make an impression on this year’s Senior One league title race.
The 2008 champions could finish only joint fourth last season and this year have only two teams below them after losing three of their first four matches. And tomorrow, they host defending joint champions Strabane.
Donemana have yet to total 250 in the league this season but five players have scored half centuries so if they all come together on the same day there is the potential there to post a winning score.
However, it is the bowling department where they have been found wanting and Junior McBrine’s stand-out figures of five for four against Eglinton aside, only one other bowler has managed to take three wickets in an innings. That is where Strabane will hope to cash in tomorrow and having lost both their home league games, Donemana will hardly be full of confidence.
Strabane beat Bready in their only away game so far and they know that another victory will effectively end the challenge of one of the leading contenders for the championship.
Having said that there are a few unfamiliar names at the head of the table with last year’s bottom two, Coleraine and Glendermott, sharing top billing with Fox Lodge and Limavady.
None of the top four meet each other this weekend — there are six games spread over two days — but Brigade have the chance to join them if they complete back to back victories over Glendermott and St Johnston.
Brigade almost threw away their cup victory at The Rectory last week and another big crowd is expected for the league rematch of a tie which produced 628 runs.
St Johnston, still pointless on their top flight return, are also in action tomorrow, at Drummond where Limavady are their hosts and where the Roesiders will also play their Senior Cup game against Donemana next weekend.
Coleraine, having won three of their first four games, should get a fair indication of their prospects for the rest of the season when they entertain Bready on Sunday, the same day as Fox Lodge should make it four wins out of five against bottom placed Eglinton.
Tomorrow’s fixtures (1pm): Donemana v Strabane, Glendermott v Brigade, Limavady v St Johnston (Drummond).
Sunday: Coleraine v Bready, Fox Lodge v Eglinton, St Johnston v Brigade.