League and cup games for second tier sides

Issam Horshi and Ramona Wylie of White Horse INN sponsoring the new North West Warriors playing kits. Also pictured from left to right are John McMillan (President North West Cricket Union), Andy McBrine, Craig Young, Stuart Thompson and Bobby Rao (NW Warriors Coach).

Issam Horshi and Ramona Wylie of White Horse INN sponsoring the new North West Warriors playing kits. Also pictured from left to right are John McMillan (President North West Cricket Union), Andy McBrine, Craig Young, Stuart Thompson and Bobby Rao (NW Warriors Coach).

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There is a real mix of action next weekend with several different competitions in focus on Saturday in particular.

Although the O’Neill’s Ulster Cup is top of the agenda for Premiership clubs it should have been back to the bread and butter of league matters for Championship sides - the Ulster Shield and Plate competitions not set to start for another two weeks.

That said however, the All-Ireland ties not completed earlier this month take precedence over scheduled league fixtures, meaning that Drummond’s game with North Kildare, Creevedonnell against Dundrum (LCU) and Burndennett v Academy in the National Cup and Fox Lodge against County Galway in the Irish Senior Cup will all now go ahead this weekend.

It seems a strange suggestion given the poor performances of local clubs on first round day but it will be something of a disappointment if at least two or three fail to progress to the respective next rounds.

Certainly Fox Lodge will start warm favourites against the Tribesmen, although it goes without saying that Brian Allen’s team will need to be a whole lot better than they were at Eglinton at the weekend.

The two National Cup ties look slightly more difficult assignments but in-form Drummond will also be fancied to get past Kildare. The Roe Valley order looks full of runs at present and they should have enough about them to make it through.

Burndennett look to have the toughest task as they tackle an Academy side who won their opening league fixture of the season against Derriaghy, but were then brought crashing down to earth by a James Hall-inspired Waringstown in the cup at the weekend.

The visitors will be forgiven for thinking that this assignment is much more within their compass than the last one but they would do well not to treat Saturday’s hosts too lightly either.

Mark Roulston’s team had been due to play Bonds Glen in the Championship but rather than sit inactive, the Bee Gees have agreed to play their T20 league game at Coleraine on Saturday instead.

The Bannsiders had been due to play Instonians in the Ulster Cup but they too have an outstanding all-Ireland date to take care of first.

Creevedonnell haven’t enjoyed the best of starts to their campaign but will be hoping a trip to Dublin can rejuvenate their fortunes.

All of that means that only one league fixture remains - Killyclooney v Newbuildings, and it looks a difficult shout.

The visitors are still searching a first league win at the third attempt but there has been nothing wrong with their performances thus far.

They gave a bold showing against Coleraine in the cup and were the only North West side to progress in the National Cup last time when a Peter Allen century helped them past Lurgan.

Their league defeats have to be taken into context as well given that they bumped in to Fox Lodge and Drummond early doors, so can justifiably feel that things at least can’t get any harder.

’Clooney were unable to build on that opening day win against Bonds Glen before beating Burndennett in the cup last time and they now have several players in the ranks who are proven at senior level.

Their cup win at Burndennett showed that they can mix it with anyone on their day and with a quarter-final tie at home to Donemana to look forward to, their seems to be a good vibe around the club at the minute.

It could be a very decent contest this one with the visitors just fancied to nick the points.

There are two re-arranged league games on Sunday with Fox Lodge entertaining Creevedonnell and Burndennett taking on Bonds Glen,