CRICKET: Gill’s men out to upset CIYMS

Lisburn's Adam Berry
Lisburn's Adam Berry

Perhaps rightly many eyes will be spending the next few days looking across the pond at the performances of the Ireland cricket team and an historic first match at Lord’s.

Those of us who remain look forward to a fascinating second weekend of Premier League action.

If the early indicators are to be believed CIYMS have certainly set down a marker with victory against champions Instonians; followed up by a comprehensive display against Carrickfergus in Monday’s T20 opener.

Tomorrow Nigel Jones men travel to Moylena to take on new promoted Muckamore and home skipper Neil Gill is relishing the challenge:

“They are all big games for us, but this is what we were looking forward to when we won Section One last year.

“The challenge now is to establish ourselves in the top section and we know CI have a lot of quality in their line-up.

I thought we acquitted ourselves well last weekend.

“We had the opportunity to win the game against Carrickfergus, but Daniel Poulton had one of those days when it all goes right for you with the bat.

New professional Kasigo Rapulana has slotted in well with two fifties, he may be small in stature but he is an accumulator and provides the ideal foil for the likes of Ryan Haire.

“From what I have seen he can rotate the strike and is a good runner between the wickets.

“Obviously, we are disappointed with the decision on Jared Barnes, had he been available it would have made all the difference, but for now we continue without him.”

And Adam Berry is equally optimistic about the prospects for Lisburn, who rallied from 42-5 to post in excess of 200 and defeat CSNI:

“I certainly don’t remember a game where our 6,7 and 8 batters all made half-centuries before; it speaks volumes for the spirit in the team. David Simpson is a key for us and this season he will sit out the T20’s and concentrate on league and cup.

“New professional Gionne Koopman will open the batting and I believe he is more a player to build innings and we want him to bat deep, hopefully this will give Robert Rankin the ability to express himself more at number 4, like we saw in the T20 against Muckamore on Monday.

Carrickfergus will be tough on their own ground but we then follow this up with three games at home, so if we can get something out of this weekend it will give us a platform.

“Having said that we will need to field a lot better and take our chances when they come along.”

The day’s other fixture will be equally interesting as both CSNI and North Down look to bounce back from defeat. Perhaps North Down’s was not entirely unexpected in that it came against Waringstown and they were by no means outclassed.

It looks as though Ruhan Pretorius, will certainly provide solidity if not the weight of runs of Pieter Malan.

CCNI though would have expected to finish off Lisburn and there is no doubt that the Shane Getkate saga is currently taking a toll on the club.