There are ten local sides in this Saturday’s first round games in the Irish Senior Cup, below we look at some of the top games.
Having not brought the Irish Senior Cup back to the North West for a number of years, sides will be hoping this is their year.
Railway Union v Strabane
The Dubliners are a formidable outfit who have a decent record in this competition, they have some quality players none more so than Irish international Kevin O’Brien. They will be favourites to progress.
Strabane have lost their opening two league games, not surprising when you look at the number of players who have left the club. However they still have some quality there yet however this is a big ask.
Prediction: Railway Union.
Waringstown v St Johnston
The home side are always among the favourites for any of the competitions they contest and this season will be no different. Kyle McCallan and Phil Eaglestone are two of their main players.
The Saints, who were not at full strength in their opening day defeat at Bready, hope to have their full complement of players available for this one. That may still not be good enough.
Ballymena v Ardmore
The Eaton Park side are one of the lesser lights in the Northern Union. They are usually in the bottom half of the table but they have some decent cricketers especially the Kennedy brothers.
Ardmore have got off to an ordinary start but they must improve their batting. Too often they depend on one or two of their big players to come good and that has to change. This could be the day that they all come good.
Brigade v CSNI
Gareth McKeegan’s side breathed a sigh of relief after their win at Strabane. However it doesn’t get away from the fact that their top order batsmen have failed on their two opening games they will surely come good.
Their visitors lost their best player in Nigel Jones who has moved to CIYMS and he will be a big loss, they have however retained most of last seasons side so they will prove formidable opposition.
Donemana v North County
There should be a packed ground for this one. Richard Kee’s side have only played the one game but they won it and that was with a weakened side which shows the depth of their talent. The Dubliners have an excellent record in this competition - previous winners on a number of occasions. However they have lost the influential international John Mooney who has move down the road to Ballbriggan and that could make a big difference.
Eglinton v Pembroke
Christopher Pierce’s side looked more than useful last week with their young West Indian professional Oriane Williams looking especially impressive. They have a good balance of youth and experience.
The Dubliners played a couple of pre-season friendlies in the North West and although they lost both games they were not at full strength, but they will be for this one.
Coleraine v Muckamore
The Bannsiders have got off to a flyer with two victories they have arguably the best squad in the Premiership and they will be disappointed not to have silverware come September.
Muckamaore are newly promoted with a big future hoped for especially with the signing of Ryan Haire from North Down, the home side to continue their winning run.