Gill confident Muckamore can spring another Challenge Cup shock

Muckamore's Neil Gill
Muckamore's Neil Gill

Arguably the biggest shock in the first round of the Arthur J Gallagher Challenge Cup came at Moylena where the home side, Muckamore took down the much fancied Instonians eleven.

And he prepares for tomorrow’s clash against Carrickfergus for skipper Neil Gill it is very much an attitude of same again.

“Carrick hold no fears for us, again it is a question of nothing to lose and everything to win.

“Sure they have some good players and I was particularly impressed by Pat Botha when I watched him, but this is not our main focus.

“We have already proved against Inst that on our day we are a match for anyone.

“We are on a good run with only one defeat, but Saturday I will simply be telling the players to go out and enjoy themselves.

“I imagine Carrick will have respect for us as we are no strangers to playing each other.

“We have two games this weekend and Sunday’s league game is by far the more important.

“On Sunday we simply cannot afford to lose as that would put us two defeats behind Downpatrick.

“The forecast is good, the ground is in great condition and I’m looking forward to playing in front of a large crowd.

“I think we have a good balance about our side right now and we are playing good cricket.

“If we get a couple of early wickets, say Botha and Jamie Holmes then who knows what can happen.

“Our own professional Avadhoot Dandekar has been in tremendous form and I rate him as highly as anyone we have ever had playing here.

“My only fear if you like is because we have tended to bowl first and get teams out cheaply that we have not had to bat deep.

“It would be nice to bat and put a big total on the board, if we don’t we move on to Sunday.”

As five time winners of the Ulster Shield, another competition Gill has earmarked to perform well in, would it be a major surprise to see Muckamore’s name in the Arthur J Gallagher Challenge Cup semifinal draw come Saturday evening?

I reckon not and then anything becomes possible.

p Imran Tahir took record one-day international figures for South Africa of seven for 45 as they hammered the West Indies by 139 runs at Basseterre.

Hashim Amla’s 110 underpinned the Proteas’ total of 343 for four, which also featured half-centuries for Quinton de Kock and Faf du Plessis.

Then it was over to Tahir as the Tri-Series hosts were skittled for 204 in reply, leaving both teams on two wins along with Australia but South Africa leading the table after a second bonus point.

p Yorkshire have re-signed Azeem Rafiq for the remainder of the season after the off-spinner impressed while representing the second XI in recent weeks.