Weekend double header action in NW
Ian Callender - Belfast Telegraph
It's a double header weekend for North West clubs with the semi-finals of the three T20 Cup competitions tonight (Friday) followed by a full programme of League matches.
Donemana, who won the Senior Cup last year, when it was a T20 competition, are handicapped by the loss of captain Andy McBrine and William McClintock who are both in the Cricket Ireland bubble ahead of the upcoming series against South Africa so Jordan McGonigle will lead the side tonight at Eglinton and tomorrow against Ballyspallen.
Brigade have back to back home games against Bready, for a place in the Faughan Valley Cup final, and tomorrow can move up to second place, at least, in Group A of the 40-over League. A big victory and a Bready loss at Strabane could actually see the defending Premiership champions go top after five rounds.
“It was disappointing to lose our first game against Bready but the lads have come back well and we’ve strung together three wins so there is plenty of confidence going into two big games this weekend,” said Brigade skipper Andy Britton.
“We have lost three bowling all-rounders since we won the league in 2019 but Ryan Barr and Simon Olphert have come in and we’re playing as a team. Everybody has their own role and it’s actually made it a bit easier for me as I don’t have to make as many decisions. I’d almost too much of a choice when all the batters could bowl!”
In the NCU, the game of the day is at Stormont where Civil Service North will hope to return to winning ways against Carrickfergus, one of the three co-leaders.
The other two are North Down and Waringstown although the Villagers have an advantage over their rivals, able to field a full-strength side for the next three weekends, with not a single player in the Ireland squads.
In contrast, North Down and defending champions CIYMS will be two internationals short, while CSN and Carrickfergus will be without Ben White and Graeme McCarter respectively.