CIYMS will seek to make it three in a row when they face Muckamore in tomorrow’s Arthur J Gallagher Challenge Cup semi-final at Moylena.
The visitors are putting it together at just the right time. Whilst Muckamore enjoyed a superb start to the season including a comfortable win over CI, they have gone somewhat off the boil.
The Belmont men on the other hand are starting to simmer, highlighted by last weekend’s demolition of Lisburn. Skipper Nigel Jones is looking forward to the challenge.
“It’s a big game, we will be up for it, last couple of weeks have been good. Matt McGillivray is putting it together with both bat and ball, getting used to the conditions and importantly getting some gym work in and reaching peak fitness,” he said.
“He put it in good places against Lisburn, taking 5-5 and it’s great to have his calm head coming in at number 6. We looked in trouble against Carrick at 4 down then he put on 190 with myself to win the game.
“Chris Dougherty’s in good form, John Matchett and Ryan Hunter likewise, Jason van der Merwe’s been disappointing with the bat but has done well with the ball. The bowling unit is gelling, David Robinson knows what his role is and it’s great to have Jacob Mulder back,” aded Jones.
“Muckamore have performed, we certainly saw that in the league game, Neil Gill puts it in the right places, going well with the bat; we know all about Ryan Haire and Ifti Hussain plus a decent pro who we helped take 5 for last time!”
Perhaps CI may just edge it. At Shaw’s Bridge Instonians are heavy favourites; Lisburn have been written off to such a degree you wonder if they should turn up, a question for skipper Adam Berry.
“Tough couple of weeks, last Saturday was one of those days, bad day at the office,” Berry said.
“Yes, we have been written off but this is a one-off game and if you cannot get motivated by the opportunity to play a cup final, need I say more.
“We go into every game like a cup final now; season started well with a win against CSNI, then posting 300 at Carrick and losing, our batting has gone very quiet and 64 all out was not good.
“We are a young side, I back us to bounce back, it is 10 local guys plus a pro, we won’t have either Neil Doak or James Magowan on Saturday but Neil Kilpatrick is back to take the gloves and Doakie plays Sunday.”
Admirable positivity but it could be a long weekend with a double header against Instonians.