CIYMS begin their latest quest to represent Ireland in the European Cricket League on Sunday when they face Newbuildings in the semi-final of the All-Ireland T20 Cup.

The Belmont side were due to travel to Spain for the finals in both 2020 and 2021 but the tournaments were cancelled because of the Covid-19 pandemic and last year they failed to reach the NCU final, with Brigade getting the trip this year as All-Ireland champions.

However, CI retained their NCU crown this year beating Civil Service North in the final and were drawn at home to Newbuildings who defeated Brigade in the North West T20 final.

The game is a repeat of the second round Irish Cup tie, also at Belmont, back in June when CI won by the huge margin of 140 runs, despite Newbuildings skipper Jared Wilson hitting 124, three times more than the highest CI scorer!

The margin will, obviously, be closer tomorrow and with explosive batters such as Ross Adair and Wilson on opposite sides, it promises to be a cracking contest.

And Newbuildings have an extra incentive to perform tomorrow because “we were told” that they would be at home in the semi-final. However after an open draw, it was the NCU side who were first out of the hat.

“The home semi-final has always been alternated between North West and NCU clubs in the T20 semi-final,” said a Newbuildings spokesman. “Brigade were told last year they had to travel because to the NCU because it was in the North West the year before.

“Then we were told it would be a neutral ground in the North West but now we have to travel to Belfast. We’re not happy!”

The winners go through to meet either The Hills or Cork Harlequins, who also play tomorrow in Milverton, in next Sunday’s final in Cork.

The Women’s preliminary T20 final between Fox Lodge and Civil Service North also goes ahead tomorrow, with the winners playing Merrion in the final next Sunday.