Potentially you can make a case this weekend for any of the four premier league fixtures having top billing; given that despite each side having played two fixtures, only Carrickfergus remain unbeaten and only CSNI are pointless.
Perhaps surprisingly I’m going to start at Wallace Park where Lisburn take on Muckamore. Running a form guide here both have lost to Carrickfergus, but that fact doesn’t really begin to tell the tale.
Either side could make a reasoned argument that on another day they would have beaten Carrick and both have new South African professionals (Gionne Koopman – Lisburn and Kagiso Rapulana -Muckamore) who have immediately settled to local conditions, producing match winning performances.
For Muckamore that defeat by Carrickfergus is the only blot on what can be best described as a stellar return to the top flight. Instonians (twice) CIYMS and last weekend Waringstown have all come unstuck against Neil Gill’s spirited outfit.
Adam Berry now in his second season as Lisburn captain gave his early season assessment:
“We are playing well, with some good cricket, Gionne has adapted well, but I still feel like it’s good in spells and not a full performance yet.
“I have been disappointed with our T20 form, losing to both Muckamore and then in our only match last weekend against CSNI. On the plus side, we have performed well in both the Irish Senior Cup and the Arthur J Gallagher Challenge Cup.
“I thought we turned in a very clinical performance against Eglinton and equally so against Armagh.
“In the league, we scored almost 300 against Carrick but came up against Pat Botha in the mood where it is virtually impossible to bowl at him and Daniel Poulton finished it off. We are still a young team, I’m reasonably happy with progress.
“It is great to have the experience of Neil Doak again; this weekend both he and James Magowan will play.”