Belfast Telegraph

Cricket: T20 semi places up for grabs

By Ian Callender

The group stage of the NCU Twenty20 Cup is concluded this week with all four semi-final places still up for grabs.

Groups One and Two will come down to a straight shoot-out with the winners of tonight’s North Down-Muckamore game going through from Group 1 and tomorrow night Waringstown host Carrickfergus for a place in the last four from Group 2.

But depending on the results of tonight’s action in the other two groups, run rate may decide the group winners.

If Lisburn win at home to Civil Service North then all three teams (Downpatrick is the other side in Group 3) will finish level on four points while it will be the same scenario in Group 4 if CIYMS win their home match against Instonians, bringing Bangor into the mix for run-rate calculations.

Tonight’s fixtures: NCU Twenty20 Cup (6.15pm): North Down v Muckamore, Lisburn v Civil Service North, CIYMS v Instonians.

Henderson Properties Senior League One (6.30pm): Limavady v Brigade.

Meanwhile, the Belfast squad will travel to London next week for both group matches in the annual Lord’s Taverners Inner Cities Under 14 Cup competition.

Normally, teams have one match at home and one away but, having been drawn against London North and London South this year, Belfast manager Roger Bell has agreed to play both games in England on successive days.

The team will fly to London next Tuesday morning, play the North side in the afternoon and the South side the following morning before flying back that evening.

The group winners will go through to the National finals at Arundel in August.

The Belfast squad is: John Matchett (CIYMS, captain), Jack Beattie (CIYMS), Paddy Beverland (CSN), Matt Campbell (Carrickfergus), Andrew Forbes (Carrickfergus), Craig Irvine (North Down), Andrew Knape (Instonians), Thomas Luke (Instonians), Ben McGavock (CSN), Peter McKibbin (North Down), Gareth Millar (CIYMS), George Piggot (CSN), Sahil Saxena (Instonians).

Finally, the MCC are on their annual tour of Northern Ireland this week and their first game is against an Ulster Schools XI at Campbell College today (11.30am start).

The remaining matches this week are against a Instonians/Campbell/ Methody Combined side on Thursday at Osborne Park (11.30am) and Ireland Under 19s on Friday (10.45) at Carrickfergus.

Today’s teams: Ulster Schools: A Berry (captain, Methodist College), G McCarter (vice-captain, Foyle & Londonderry College), R Adair (Sullivan Upper School), S Campbell (Coleraine AI), A Clarke, J Glenn (both Foyle & Londonderry College), N Hodgins (Campbell College), R McKinley (Larne GS), S Olphert (Limavady GS), S Shannon (RBAI), A Shields (Grosvenor GS), B Wylie (RBAI).

MCC: M McCord (capt), A Nixon, M Nixon, D Kennedy, L Nelson, C Andrews, N McCollum, R Brown, R Arthur, A Kirkpatrick, W Horwood.

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