Muckamore skipper Neil Gill looks to kick-on in league after cup successes

Muckamore captain Neil Gill
Muckamore captain Neil Gill
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Muckamore captain Neil Gill is hoping his side can carry the momentum gained in cup competitions into Saturday’s Robinson Services Premier League clash against North Down at The Green.

Having lost their opening four league matches, the Moylena men are coming off the back of a convincing Challenge Cup first round triumph over Bangor and an impressive 13-run Twenty20 Cup victory against CSNI on Monday.

They have been dealt a massive blow with talented all-rounder Marcus O’Riordan returning to Kent having only signed during the winter at Muckamore.

The 21-year-old had scored half-centuries in tight defeats to Waringstown and Lisburn but Gill says the spirits remain high in the changing room.

“It’s a bit of a blow but we have a great spirit in the team,” Gill said of O’Riordan’s departure.

“We have lost seven or eight in all competitions but the boys are working hard and are still really positive. We know we are capable once we click.

“Don’t get me wrong - the batting statistics aren’t great for us at all.

“We need Sam Gordon, Aditya Adey, David Miller and Jamie Rogers to kick on from the starts they’re getting. It’s only going to improve.

“We have to win four of 10 matches probably to stay in the league.

“It’s going to be really tough and we won’t go down without a fight that’s for sure.”

Muckamore welcomed a number of new players to the club during the close season with the likes of Jamie Rogers and Steve Lazars starting to show signs of how useful they can be in the top-flight in recent weeks.

Gill is positive about the situation they find themselves in and is confident they can turn it around.

“Even the win against Bangor just gives us that boost of winning a match and then beating Civil Service in the T20,” he added.

“We put in a real good fighting performance and defended 150.

“We bowled very well and fought hard in the field. The signs are that it’s starting to improve.

“We are a bit of a new team so it was always going to take a while.”

They will take on a North Down side that have won two of their three league fixtures but Gill doesn’t have any fear about travelling to Comber.

“Even though you’re working your socks off every week, when you get beat you’re going home gutted,” he said.

“The boys know it’ll turn around if we keep working hard and the recent signs have been positive. We have no worries about going to North Down.

“A lot hinges of Ruhan Pretorius and there’s a lot of pressure on him. We are in a good confident mood going there.”

Their reward for Saturday’s victory over Bangor is a local derby quarter-final clash with Templepatrick on June 15 in a competition that Gill targeted early in the season.

“We have got to a couple of semi-finals in the past few years but it would be great for the club to get to a senior cup final,” he added.

“We haven’t done it since 1972 and haven’t won it since 1969.

“We were looking a home tie and we are favourites going into our match against Templepatrick.

“It adds a little bit of spice to it and hopefully the weather picks up a bit!”