Waringstown looking to get back on track as they prepare for another big weekend

Waringstown captain Lee Nelson
Waringstown captain Lee Nelson

Last weekend didn’t go according to plan if you were from Waringstown.

The Villagers fell to a surprise defeat to CSNI in the semi-finals of the NCU Challenge Cup last Saturday.

And on the Sunday they suffered a bowl-out defeat to Ardmore in the semi-finals of the O’Neill’s Ulster Cup

But this weekend offers two more opportunities to atone as the club looks to get back on track.

“It is impossible to be at your best all the time, if we have an off day and our opponents are at 100 per cent then days like Saturday happen,” said skipper Lee Nelson.

“This weekend the seconds have a big game so Kyle McCallan and Johnny Bushe play both days for the firsts.

“Last season’s game in the T20 between ourselves and North Down was the best T20 game I have played in. North Down are a good T20 side, so it is a big game first up.

“As hosts obviously we want to get to the final and not sit watching somebody else.

“I expect a decent pitch and high scoring games. If we make the final and face say Carrick, they gave us our toughest game in the group stages.

“The second game requires mental toughness, T20 is intense and whoever is in the final will need to dig deep.”

Sunday is an Irish Cup tie at home to North County, presenting another stern test.

“North County have won five all Ireland’s we have four, says it all,” Nelson added.

“We need to get back to playing the way we play. Last week was the first game we have lost in nearly a year in 50 overs, but we are still going well.

“Eddie Richardson will be a big threat for them with bat and ball, it will be the same pitch as for the T20, so we would ideally bat and put a number on the board.

“Let’s say I am expecting a reaction and a positive one at that.”

Meanwhile, Instonians’ Nikolai Smith is looking forward to the game against Phoenix.

“I think it’s three years since we actually got past the first round, so hopefully we get decent weather,” he said.

“It’s also been two weeks since we last played against Lisburn where I thought we really came together, we have been a bit up and down.

“We have had a break, been training hard and now regroup. Rusty Theron is banned, Jordan McClerkin (broken finger) is replaced by James Metcalfe and Robert McKinley is available for the remainder of the season.

“Phoenix beat us quite comfortably pre-season, a good side with dangerous players, we are just happy to have a home draw.”

Elsewhere, CIYMS play host to YMCA, this season’s Leinster Cup finalists and already successful on two trips north, against North Down and Fox Lodge.

Unfortunately, in the final tie I see no hope for Derriaghy in Dublin minus 6 regulars, even if Merrion are without John Anderson and Tyrone Kane.