Cricket: Cup action takes centre stage again this weekend

An appeal by Newbuildings players against the Coleraine batsman Scott Campbell, during their North West Senior Cup first round match at Foyle.  INLS 2115-7398MT.
An appeal by Newbuildings players against the Coleraine batsman Scott Campbell, during their North West Senior Cup first round match at Foyle. INLS 2115-7398MT.

There are two Irish Senior Cup games this Saturday with five O’Neills sponsored Ulster Cup ties also down for decision.

Last season’s Premiership champions have home advantage this weekend when they face Railway Union, while Fox Lodge entertain County Galway, as the region looks to save face in the Irish Senior Cup.

Irish Senior Cup

Strabane v Railway Union

The Red Caps poor form continued last week where their bowling was found out. They are missing their professional Taiwande Mujipura who is touring with Zimbabwe and won’t be back for another three weeks.

The Dubliners are likely to include Kevin O’Brien and also ex-Ardmore player Adrian Murphy. They are one of the leading fancies to go all the way in this competition and will be favourites to progress.

Prediction: Railway Union.

Fox Lodge v County Galway

The Foxies were very disappointed with their batting display last week where their top scorer was Dean McCarter with just 15 . They are a better side than that.

The men from Galway are a bit of an unknown quantity but are believed to have a few overseas players in their line up. The home side will be favourites.

Prediction: Fox Lodge.

O’Neill’s Ulster Cup

St Johnston v Carrickfergus

The Saints have got off to a terrible start losing their opening two games heavily.

Their batsmen can’t compile a decent total and that is worrying and their confidence is at an all-time low.

Carrick had a good win against Downpatrick last week and have some excellent players in Ryan Eaglestone and opener Johnny Ring. They may add to the Saints troubles.

Prediction: Carrickfergus.

CSNI v Ardmore

The men from Stormont showed that they are a more than useful side when they knocked Brigade out of the Irish Senior cup a couple of weeks ago. Their bowling attack is very strong and Regan West and Andrew Cowden are a formidable opening pair.

Ardmore have had a decent start to the season and a couple of their local players Conor and Lee Brolly starred with the ball last Saturday. They will find this more difficult.

Prediction: CSNI.

Eglinton v Muckamore

The Villagers have a decent side on paper but they don’t always do themselves justice. Richard Wylie, although struggling with the bat, is producing the goods with the ball. Craig Averill and Christopher Pierce are two excellent openers.

Muckamore are looking to go straight back up to the top division and the signing of Ryan Haire has showed their intentions and he has already showed his class. They knocked Coleraine out of the Irish Senior cup.

Prediction: Eglinton.

Lisburn v Donemana

The home side, although they produced a good batting performance against Glendermott, had a bad day at the office last Saturday when they could only manage 85 with former Fox Lodge pro Darryl Brown making 57 of them.

Donemana will travel as strong favourites. They have got a lot of good young players in their side and that added to their experienced players make them one of the favourites to go all the way.

Prediction: Donemana.

North Down v Bready

The men from Comber are a very difficult side to beat on home soil, with players of the calibre of Tamur Khan and Andrew Sutherland to name just two, they are also in good form this season so far.

Bready will be hoping that Craig Young gets back to full fitness as he is a big player in their bowling attack. They are the holders and won’t go down without a fight.

Prediction: North Down.