There are a busy few days upcoming for the North West cricket fraternity starting today (Friday) when the North West Warriors entertain Leinster Lightning in an Interprovincial T20 cup game at Bready (5pm).
It’s a clash of the top two in the table with the teams split only by bonus points as they go head-to-head. After this, the final three matches for each Union will take place in a “weekend blitz” at Pembroke at the start of July, therefore a win here will leave one of them firmly in the driving seat.
The Warriors will be without Davy Scanlon (back spasm) for what is a crunch battle.
On to Saturday’s league games and the first of those is at the Holm where Donemana entertain Coleraine starting at 12 noon.
Both sides come into the match on the back of a win in their previous outings and they are set to meet again next weekend in the senior cup, albeit that one is on the north coast.
Donemana’s win at Brigade last weekend showed what they will be capable of this season and they will be difficult to beat if in the same mood on Saturday.
Bready will hope to get back on track having lost their unbeaten record at Ardmore last time out. Davy Scanlon’s side have looked potent with the ball so far this summer but will find an improving Strabane another handful.
The Red Caps have an awful collapse at Coleraine to put behind them because a repeat of that would leave them in big trouble here.
Eglinton will start favourites at Ardmore but again the home side looks like they could spoil a party or two along the way this summer
Coping with Stuart Thompson, Mike Erlank, Ross Allen et al will be easier said than done but this could be a decent contest if Ardmore’s top order have their scoring boots on again.
Brigade will look to get back on the horse after a bit of a mauling from Donemana.
They have a very winnable game at Fox Lodge to look forward to and Andy Britton’s men will be disappointed with anything other than a win.
The first of the senior cup quarter-finals will be played on Sunday as Ballyspallen host Newbuildings. Last year’s beaten finalists are in National Cup action next weekend so the fixture secretary had little or no option but to pull the match forward.
The Roe Valley side are set to be missing several regulars for that one and were disappointed that the game was squeezed in to what was originally a free date.
With the semi-finals set for the first Saturday in July however there were simply no alternatives for the North West.
Despite the personnel concerns, ‘Spallen’s recent cup pedigree would suggest this still looks a very even contest.
LONG’S SUPERVALU PREMIERSHIP: Donemana v Coleraine (12 noon); Bready v Strabane; Fox Lodge v Brigade; Ardmore v Eglinton.
BANK OF IRELAND SENIOR CUP: Ballyspallen v Newbuildings.