IRELAND all-rounder Johnny Thompson has confirmed that he’s staying with Brigade for the 2013 season.
The 29-year-old enjoyed a fantastic 2012 season, scoring 906 runs at 39.39, also claiming 56 wickets at 16.02.
These outstanding performances saw him pick up a trio of leading awards from Cricket Ireland, The Cricket Writers of Ireland and the NW Radio Foyle Player of the Year.
His services were very much in demand with offers from three leading Irish clubs, but in a major boost for Brigade, who have lost the services of Iftikhar Hussain, Thompson has opted to stay at the club for a fourth season.
“I’ve enjoyed my three seasons at Brigade where I’ve played some of the best cricket of my career. I’ve enjoyed both personal and team success, as we’ve won the Senior League, the Northern Bank Senior Cup and the Ulster Cup since I joined in 2010.
“I’ve grown as a cricketer in my time here and I’m benefitting from playing at one of the best venues in Irish cricket. I’ve been named in the Ireland Winter training squad and have genuine ambitions to further my career at representative level.”
Meanwhile the first round draw for the RSA Irish Senior Cup was held recently and the RSA announced their sponsorship of the premier club cricket competition in Ireland.
North County, the most successful team in the competition with five wins, face Brigade, who won the trophy in 1996 and 1999.
Last year’s beaten finalists Merrion face a difficult away encounter at Coleraine, while Fox Lodge have a long journey to take on Cork Harlequins.
Donemana, victors in 2000, play the winners in the preliminary tie between Rush and Terenure, while Pembroke entertain another three times winner, Limavady - the last North West team to win the cup back in 2004.
Bonds Glen have a difficult challenge against three times champions Waringstown - the last of those wins came in 2011 and 1998 winners Strabane have a tough encounter away at Civil Sevice North.
In the other ties NCU league champions CIYMS are home to Glendermott, 1986 winners Phoenix travel to Eglinton, while beaten finalists in 1995 Bready play Lurgan, one of the most successful teams in the early days of the tournament, winning it three times, the last of which came in 1990.
The draws in full are as follows: RSA Irish Senior Cup - Cork Harlequins v Fox Lodge; Carrickfergus v Cork County; Malahide or Clontarf v Ballymena; Leinster v North Down; The Hills v Instonians; Pembroke v Limavady; North County v Brigade; Lisburn v YMCA; Downpatrick v Railway Union; CIYMS v Glendermott; CSNI v Strabane; Donemana v Rush or Terenure; Coleraine v Merrion; Eglinton v Phoenix; Bready v Lurgan and Bonds Glen v Waringstown.
RSA National Cup - Laois v Killyclooney; Civil Service Dublin v Newbuildings; Cliftonville v Sion Mills; Derriaghy v Ardmore; St Johnston v North Kildare; Drummond v Malahide or Clontarf; Burndennett v Laurevale and Creevedonnell v Dundrum (NCU).
While the Sammy Jeffrey Cup draw is as follows: St Johnston v Ardmore; Bonds Glen v Burndennett; Glendermott v Creevedonnell; Sion Mills v Drummond. Sem- final draw- St Johnston/Ardmore v Bee Gees or Burndennett; Glendermott/Creevedonnell v Sion or Drummond.
Qualifying 1 Cup draw: Fox Lodge 2s v The Nedd; N Fermanagh v Eglinton 2s; Strabane 2s v Brigade 2s; Killyclooney v Bready 2s. Byes for Ballyspallen, Coleraine 2s, Donemana 2s and Newbuildings.
Qualifying 2 Cup draw: Crindle v Killyclooney 2s; Ardmore 2s v Fox Lodge 3s; Bonds Glen 2s v St Johnston 2s; Coleraine 3s v Creevedonnell 2s. Byes for Bready 3s, Donemana 3, Glendermott 2 and Limavady 2s.
Qualifying 3 Cup draw: Ardmore 3s v Sion Mills 2; Donemana 4s v Drummond 2s; Burndennett 2s v Bready 4s; Bready 5s v Fox Lodge 4s. Byes for Ballyspallen 2s, Coleraine 4s, Eglinton 3s, Killyclooney 3s.