Coleraine out to end semi-final jinx at The Holm

Scott Campbell will be conveying a simple message to his players ahead of Saturday’s Danske Bank North West Senior Cup semi-final against Donemana at The Holm.
Scott Campbell is under no illusionsScott Campbell is under no illusions
Scott Campbell is under no illusions

The famous little ground has beaten many a different opponent down the years before a ball has been bowled in anger.

The draw has undoubtedly dented Coleraine’s cup final aspirations and that is without even considering the weight of history.

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Incredibly, the Bannsiders have lost in the semi-final stage of the competition in each of the previous four seasons.

On three of those occasions the opponents were Donemana and during the last two years, Coleraine simply haven’t batted well enough.

They made just 175 batting first at The Holm a year ago and in 2013 it was 187 at Sandel Lodge. Campbell himself, Niall McDonnell and professional Kylinn Vardhan will have to go big tomorrow.

“We just have to take the game as it comes,” said Campbell.

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“At Donemana people get it into their heads that they need to go for big shots. You should just bat normally, a bad ball is a bad ball, you just hit it, but a good ball is a good ball too.

“You should still play every ball on its merits.

“It’s the same when you are bowling. There will be times when a good ball gets hit for a boundary but you have to keep it out of your head.

“You have to focus on the next ball and go again.”

Campbell certainly knows the importance of at least one of Coleraine’s big guns going on to make a really big score.

You get the impression this semi-final will not be won without a major contribution from one of the leading batsmen.

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“I’m happy enough with my own form, but I’ve been getting 30s and 40s without going on,” he added.

Donemana meanwhile will be without Dwayne McGerrigle, the veteran all-rounder fresh from a blistering half-century against Bready last weekend.

McGerrigle rescued Donemana that day after a flurry of wickets in the middle of the innings, but crucially Andy McBrine is back.

It is a tribute to the talent of Donemana’s young guns that the retirement of Junior McBrine has barely been felt so far.

The clubs, both still unbeaten in the league, meet again at The Holm on Sunday.