Domestic promotion issues still in the balance

Allen Coulter. Pic by PressEye Ltd.
Allen Coulter. Pic by PressEye Ltd.

With only a few matches remaining and the main issues all but decided there is very much an end-of-term feel to the cricket season, but has anyone told the weather?

The main focus will be on the bottom of Section One and at the top of Section Two. Section Two is a little less complicated - Laurelvale need something akin to a miracle in Sunday’s T20 match at Holywood against BISC if they are to be promoted on net run-rate.

At the bottom of Section One, the equation looks like it should be simple as well.

A win for Saintfield means that Academy must then beat Armagh on Sunday to ensure they stay up, but if not then Saintfield need to arrange their final fixture against Bangor knowing that victory will keep them up.

It seems strange to be referring to a game between the Challenge Cup finalists as a meaningless affair, but that is how it looks as the Premier League season concludes on Sunday at Belmont.

It certainly will be interesting to see what sort of teams take the field - doubtless both sides will be minus their professionals but, after disciplinary hearings during the week, CI lost a further two key players.

Johnny Thompson was given a two-match ban for a Level Two offence - originally reported as Level One - and Allen Coulter was given a one-match ban for his excessive celebrations of his fifth wicket against Lisburn.

I don’t have a particular problem with either decision but it would be great if we could see a level of consistency applied next season to the reporting of such offences.

To finish on a positive note, it is great to see that Shaw’s Bridge will play host to international one-day cricket for the next two days as the women of Ireland and Bangladesh clash.

Originally scheduled for the North West, conditions there have been so bad that the Instonians club, in particular groundsman Andrew Rose, responded to an SOS call and have prepared the ground at extremely short notice.