lisburn look to ambush rivals Carrickfergus

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Carrickfergus travel to Wallace Park on Saturday after making a remarkable start to their season.

New professional Pat Botha has hit the ground running – backed up by some stellar performances from the players around him – resulting in league wins against both North Down and CIYMS.

Last weekend Alex Haggan shone with 44 and 3-21, against North Down it was Jamie Holmes with an unbeaten century and has been a model of consistency with both bat and ball.

Saturday’s opponents Lisburn have been like the proverbial curate’s egg, a mixture of the good, bad and last weekend the downright ugly against CSNI.

And new Lisburn skipper Adam Berry was disappointed with his side’s showing against CSNI.

“Saturday was our worst performance to date, and I use myself as an example,” he said.

“I had done the hard work with the bat, made a start and then got out. It was disappointing off the back of a couple of clinical displays against CI in the T20 and Lurgan in the Challenge Cup.

“It has all been bits and pieces. We started well against Waringstown when most had written us off but lost our last six wickets for 36, but I do think once we get it all to come together we will be competitive.

“The new guys are settling in well, Cody Chetty has been great. He is working well with the kids coaching and I think once he gets fully acclimatised a big performance is not far away.

“Steve Lazars is another who is a great acquisition with bat and ball. If we see a full all round team performance we are a match for anyone.”

So what are the targets for the remainder of the season?

“Well, we are in a tough group in the T20, but put in our best effort to beat CI, but it would be great to get to the semi-final/finals day and as we are hosting one, a home game there is a great incentive,” he added.

“We are very much a young side and continuing to develop but we have a way to go.”

Adam, his brother Mark and Callum Atkinson have all played at various representative underage levels, so there is no doubting the ability is there. What of this weekend against Carrick?

“They have started brilliantly and are a strong side.

“Botha has adapted immediately to conditions here and the likes of Jamie Holmes and Ryan Eagleson are top class players.

“We are at full strength and James Magowan, who is another quality all round cricketer is back home and will play in the T20 and league game.” And what about his brother Mark, now sharing the new ball with David Simpson?

“I think he learned a lot spending time with Darryl Brown last year, he has filled out and is now bigger and stronger. He proved against Lurgan, when he blew the top order away, that he can do it. As a team I think we are more than capable, we just have to go out on the field and prove it.”

Over at Belmont CIYMS will look to finally get some league points on the board and undoubtedly will be buoyed by the great win in the Irish Senior Cup against The Hills. Instonians will be equally confident having displayed all their fighting qualities without James Shannon last weekend

At Stormont Waringstown will be keen to ensure that CSNI don’t build on their victory over Lisburn.

Finally at Queensway Irish Senior Cup quarter finalists Derriaghy will look to heap more misery on North Down, who still remain pointless.