ULSTER PLATE

BREADY II start the defence of the Ulster Plate on Sunday with a home game against Carrickfergus II as North West clubs aim to continue their domination of the competition.

It is four years since the cup resided in the NCU, when North Down II won the final against Waringstown and only the Villagers have reached the final since.

North Down are now in Junior League 2 – and have lost two of their first three games – so it will be a tough test for them, even with home advantage against Brigade II, last year’s beaten finalists and the 2015 winners.

First round draw: Bready II v Carrickfergus II, CIYMS II v Ardmore II, Civil Service North II v Bonds Glen II, Donemana II v Downpatrick II, Eglinton II v Waringstown II, Fox Lodge II v Muckamore II, Lisburn II v Coleraine II, North Down II v Brigade II.