The big games continue to come thick and fast for CIYMS and they won’t be able to celebrate their Gallagher Challenge Cup success for too long as they prepare to host Waringstown in the Clear Currency Irish Senior Cup tomorrow.
Waringstown will arrive at Belmont as the defending champions after last season’s triumph over Merrion and sealed their spot in yet another semi-final with a bowl-out victory over Instonians at Shaw’s Bridge last weekend.
The two sides have met three times to date this season - twice in the Twenty20 Cup and once in the Premier League - with CIYMS winning two of those encounters.
CIYMS don’t have a league game today while Waringstown will host Carrickfergus at The Lawn - and Nigel Jones says the day off could be crucial for his side.
“I’m quite pleased we have a day off tomorrow - that’s key for us,” he said. “We will enjoy tonight and try to recharge the batteries. The fact it’s a big competition for us, we will come very motivated on Sunday against familiar opposition.
“Tomorrow’s break will do us good and we can come back strong on Sunday.”
Unlike Waringstown, who have won the competition six times and are the most successful club in the tournament’s history, CIYMS are gunning for their first ever Irish Cup crown. They’ve beaten North County, Merrion and Leinster to reach this stage and Jones is looking to convert this position into historic silverware.
“It’s a cup where we are at the semi-final stage of now,” said Jones. “We will need to be very good on Sunday and I expect us to be.
“It’ll be brilliant if we can get the job done and get to the final, but it’s going to be a big challenge and we have to be ready.”
One NCU side will be guaranteed to meet a team from Leinster in the final, with the other semi-final being contested between Phoenix and Pembroke.
q Runaway league leaders Brigade are on the verge of retaining the North West Senior Cup after dominating day one of this year’s final against their near-neighbours Glendermott.
In front of a sizeable crowd and in perfect conditions, Andy Britton’s team recovered from a modest enough start to post a huge 305-8 from their 50 overs yesterday, having been put in to bat by Gordon Montgomery at the start of the day.
To be fair to the Glendermott skipper, his plan seemed to work fairly well early on. David Barr made 29 and Kyle Magee 21 or the batting side, however, after 27 overs the league leaders had been restricted to 85 for four.
A quick 31 from David Murdock gave Brigade’s innings a bit of impetus after that before a 110-run stand between Johnny Thompson and skipper Briitton turned the afternoon their way. The partnership came off just 64 balls - Thompson hitting six fours and two sixes in his 66 while Britton had six boundaries and three maximums in his 61.
A late 20 not out from Ross Allen also helped the cause although Glendermott contributed to their own woes by giving up up an extra 12 penalty runs having taken forever to bowl their 50 overs. Steve Moore claimed 2-38 while Keshan Wijerathne added 2-42 and Alan Johnson 2-44 as the bowling unit striggled to contain late on.
Having been in the contest for the first half of the innings, Glendermott couldn’t get to grips with things after that big partnership and their reply with the bat was also soon n trouble.
Scott Laird made 30 at the top of their order and Alan Johnson added 37 in the middle however that apart the card made for sorry reading.
Ryan Barr’s 15 was best of the rest, as Rachit Gaur Gear (3-38, Britton (2-20) Ross Allen (2-34) and Ryan Macbeth (2-38) shared the bowling honours.
A final total of 139 all out left the Bond Street boys 166 behind yet Britton refused to enforce the follow-on.
Instead his top order negotiated a further 19 overs adding 94 runs for the loss of two wickets before stumps were pulled at 8:30 p.m.
The game will recommence at 11 o’clock this morning, with Brigade 260 runs ahead with 31 overs and eight wickets still in hand.
It may not be mission impossible for Montgomery’s troops, but it’s not far off it.