It’s a full-on weekend for Championship clubs upcoming with a set of league fixtures on Saturday followed by the second round of the O’Neill’s Ulster Shield the following day.
The latter comes with a very clear proviso however because with Ireland due to host Scotland in a T20 International at Bready, it is highly unlikely that Cricket Ireland will entertain the thought of so many club matches going on the same day.
The league programme looks intriguing with Burndennett’s clash at home to Glendermott possibly the pick of the games.
Drummond will have a watchful eye on Mr Symes as they put their unbeaten league run on the line at Creevedonnell, while leaders Fox Lodge would be well advised to do likewise with Darren Moan as they go to Killyclooney.
Bonds Glen entertain improving Newbuildings in the day’s final match.
The draw for the quarter finals of the Ulster Shield has now been made and sees Fox Lodge entertain Bonds Glen, Newbuildings travel to Woodvale, Burndennett hosting Downpatrick and Killyclooney drawn away to Armagh.
There may not have been an awful lot of cricket on Sunday but there was still enough time for some more impressive batting efforts, most notably at Derriaghy where Killyclooney recovered quickly from Saturday’s cup defeat at home to Donemana in some style.
Mark Gordon’s team actually turned the tables completely - inflicting a nine-wicket verdict of their own on the NCU team to book a place in the quarter-finals of the Ulster Shield.
The game was a personal triumph for Darren Moan who blasted 11 fours and 10 sixes (104 in boundaries) in his knock of 124 not out. Even more pleasing for him will be the fact that the man at the other end during his assault was his brother, Giles, who made 36 not out in a stunning partnership of 165.
Earlier, the hosts had made 168 all out with Curtis Moorehead (57) and Andy Kenny (37) leading the way while Mark Gordon (4-32), Kenny Stevenson (2-15) and Giles Moan (2-32) kept the final total to 168. It was to be nowhere near enough however as Moan’s magnificent knock stole the show and gave the North West a 5-3 numerical advantage in the last eight of the competition.
Fox Lodge are in the Championship driving seat after Brian Allen’s team pulled four points clear on Saturday with a convincing win at fellow promotion challengers, Glendermott.
The visitors were in fine form with the bat as they amassed 255 for 7 in their 50 overs; professional Marco Marais leading the way with 7 fours and 4 sixes in his 80.
The South African received solid support from Luke Hayes (42), Allan Patterson (38 not out), Jason Milligan (25) and Dean McCarter (22) while Dean Curry (3-30) fared best with the ball for the home side. Truth to tell, Alan Johnson’s men didn’t cover themselves in glory in the field - dropped catches allowing their opponents to get away a lot further than they should.
Glendermott’s reply started poorly as the Foxies’ bowlers were on the money early. Eden Links played well for his half century (5 fours), but when he went, so too did their hopes. Jack Glenn (23) was the only other batsman to get in while Marais, Hayes and the Heywood boys, Aaron and Gareth all claimed two wickets apiece as the hosts were dismissed for 135.