Strabane and Glendermott lock horns in Sammy Jeffrey final
There is no shortage of cup cricket being played out this weekend as the 2021 season winds towards its conclusion, and the Sammy Jeffrey final at Strabane Park between the Red Caps and Glendermott could also be a cracker.
Neither side has won this competition before but with plenty of attacking quality on show there could be real fireworks over the two days.
The visitors have undoubtedly found something of a gem in their overseas man, Nauman Anwar, and the home side will have to keep the Pakistani batsman in check if they are to lift the trophy.
Anwar has been irresistible this summer and scored more than 270 runs in the semi-final of this competition alone, with centuries in both the original tied game and then the replay against St Johnston.
Confirming that his star man would be available for the game, Glendermott skipper Alan Johnson was fulsome in his praise of the opener he rated "the best overseas player I've ever played with."
"He was due to leave last week but agreed to change his plans to be available for the final and that's a huge boost for us. His all-round game is superb and he loves cup cricket- he has so much time and so few weaknesses it's difficult to imagine him failing twice."
'Johnsy' did however accept that Nauman would need plenty of support if the Rectory men were to get their name on the Shield.
"We've either been very good or very ordinary at times this year so we will obviously need guys to chip in around him. We have really good players here so there's no excuses. It's a two-innings final and these are great matches for the whole club."
"The boys love playing in them and supporters really get into the spirit of it. We're taking a bus-load up over the weekend so it should be a great couple of days."
Aaron Gillespie insisted Strabane would also be going into the big match in fine fettle on the back of their Eric Cooke Cup win last month. The Red Caps' skipper was really happy with the progress they have made this season and said they were really looking forward to hosting the final.
"It's one we'd love to win as it's one of very few trophies the club has never lifted. We've only played in the competition once before but now we have a chance of winning it and if we did that it would top off a really good season."
"We're bringing a lot of confidence into the game as our cup form has been very good."
"It has all the ingredients for a really competitive match as we know they will come at us hard and they have some dangerous players that can take the game away from you."
"We have players who can do that too and I expect it to be a really even contest and we're all looking forward to it."
The game gets under way tomorrow (Friday) at 11am with Ivor Dunn and Matt Allatt the men in charge.