CRICKET: Donemana still team to beat
The North West cricket season begins on Saturday, already a number of clubs have played friendly games and all clubs have been indoor practicing since January.
Donemana did the league and cup double last season and will be favourites for a repeat although they won’t find it easy.
Highland Radio and Sentinel Sport’s cricket correspondent Eamonn McLaughlin gives his annual predictions for the 2017 season.
Skipper Ricky Lee Dougherty, no change from last season they have replaced their professional Jan Frylinck with Pakistan top order batsman Imran Butt who comes with a big reputation. They have retained all of last seasons double winning side despite rumors to the contrary.
Final position: First.
Skipper Andy Britton, they just missed out last season and they have made a number of significant signings. in comes Johnny Thompson and Niall McDonnell two players who were with the club before. They have however lost Iftikhar Hussain who has joined Muckamore and Ryan Hunter who has gone to CIYMS.
Final position: Second.
David Cooke takes over the reins at Sandel Lodge, his brother Gordon who announced his retirement at the end of last season had had a change of heart and will be continuing. Their new pro is opening bowler Graeme Hume and they have also signed Steve Lazaras and Steven Dunn, they have lost Jarred Barnes and Niall McDonnell.
Final position: Third.
Gary Neely continues as skipper, they will once again be looking to Decker Curry for another big season and they have signed his son Dean, just last week they got Pakistan top order batsman Rameez Alam as their professional another good season expected.
Final position: Fourth.
Eglinton Irish International Stuart Thompson will lead the villagers who have lost the services of West Indian Orion Williams and have replaced him with Zimbabwean opening bowler Trevor Garwe, Mark Averill has also left the club.
Final position: Fifth.
David Scanlon once again skippers the side they have had a few disappointing seasons and will be looking for much better this time round. Their professional is Sri Lankan Irosh Samarasooriya. Adam Warnock and Gavin Wallace have left the club.
Final position: Sixth.
Newly promoted the Foxies have Brian Allen again captaining the side, their main aim this season will be to survive but they have some talented cricketers who have been here before.
Their professional is Cebo Tshiki and they will be looking to the skipper, Jason Milligan Andy McGinnis and the Heywoods to be at their best.
Final position: Seventh.
Chris Moore will lead the Roesiders, they have an unchanged side from last season and will depend on the old firm of Richard McDaid, Stevie Moore and possibly Adam McDaid if he remains at the club, may be a season of struggle.
Final position: Eighth.