CIYMS EYE T20 GLORY

CIYMS Captain Nigel Jones
CIYMS Captain Nigel Jones
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CIYMS will be looking to pick up their third trophy of the season on Sunday as they head into All-Ireland Twenty20 Finals Day.

Nigel Jones’ side have already won the Gallagher Challenge Cup and Lagan Valley Steels Twenty20 Cup, which sealed their place in this weekend’s showpiece event.

They will play on their home ground against North West champions Donemana (11am start) before hopefully progressing to the final at 4pm down the road at Stormont against either Cork County (Munster) or Malahide (Leinster).

Twenty20 hasn’t always been top of the agenda for CI, but as Jones explained, there was a new emphasis put on the shortest format ahead of the current campaign.

“If we were to win games of cricket and as many competitions as possible, we couldn’t really be in a position where we relaxed in one because those habits can creep into other competitions,” he said.

“It was more about making sure we had the same habit going into every game and I feel we have a slightly better side this year again.

“I felt we had the armoury to challenge on all fronts and why not make sure every game mattered rather than there being one you relaxed in.

“This year we have a bit more depth and have been able to challenge in everything, so it’s been good.”

It will be their first match since a final ball Irish Senior Cup semi-final defeat to Waringstown, which ended CI’s chances of picking up a clean sweep of trophies in 2019.

With two in the bag and the Robinson Services Premier League crown theirs to lose, Jones is more than happy with the silverware haul so far.

“If you had said at the start of the season we had a realistic chance to win four trophies, I would have snapped your arm off for it,” he added.

“We were talking about this year that we would take three, although we were obviously targeting all competitions.

“We could win four potentially which would be a special season, but we still have some work to do.”

When it comes to T20 cricket, it is hard to look past Ireland’s World Cup Twenty20 qualifiers later this year in the UAE and a stage like Sunday’s can help players state their case for selection.

The likes of Jacob Mulder and James Cameron-Dow, who have both taken 37 wickets for CIYMS this season, may both have an eye on that trip to the UAE and Jones says they play a big role at club level.

“They’ve been key players for CIYMS and when I’ve turned to them, they’ve put in a performance,” he said.

“Jacob enjoys his T20 cricket and is a real asset and Jimmy is consistent across all formats. You look at those two to make a difference and I’m sure they’ll play a part come Sunday.”

One man that will certainly be on the plane to the Middle East is all-rounder Mark Adair who signed a central contract with Ireland this week, which is just reward for his explosion onto the international circuit.

“I don’t think it comes as much of a surprise to most,” added Jones.

“The rise he has had since the beginning of the summer especially he is showing to everything what we is capable of doing. Credit to him for putting the work in and he is reaping the rewards for that.

“It’s good to see him pick up that contract and have a bit of security so he can keep pushing on with his cricket.

“He likes a stage and Sunday will be one so hopefully he can turn it on.”