Bob Kerr Irish Senior Cup
The third round of the premier knock out competition for clubs takes place on Saturday June 13 and arguably the tie of the round is the meeting in Dublin of YMCA and Lisburn which sees in direct opposition the Strydom brothers Reinhard and Gerry.
YMCA strolled past Cork County and Strabane in the earlier rounds with former Irish captain Alan Lewis in good form with 122 and 51 and the YMCA Strydom earning a MOM award in the second round with 87 and 3 for 42. Lisburn are undefeated this season and cranked up a massive 366 for 5 against a hapless Coleraine side in round 2 with Zimbabwean all rounder Craig Ervine starring with 141 and 5 for 45. This is a contest to savour particularly with two powerful batting line-ups pitted against each other but I side with the visitors to keep their unblemished record intact.
Another attractive tie sees previous winners Waringstown welcome holders North County to The Lawn. The North Dublin side have a quite astounding record in this competition having been successful in 5 of the last 8 renewals. The Villagers suffered a shock defeat at the hands of Ballymena last weekend and would probably choose easier opponents to rebuild confidence. I make the visitors clear favourites particularly with opener Conor Armstrong among the runs.
At Belmont CIYMS will up against strong opposition when Phoenix make the trip to Belmont having knocked CSNI out of the competition last month at home. CI are a much improved outfit this season under Derek Heasley's astute leadership and with several new signings showing up well but I fancy the visitors to progress into the next round.
Having won the Cup on 3 occasions North Down are the most successful NCU side in the history of the competition and they host Merrion who had a facile 10 wicket win over Ballymena in the last round. The Comber side brought off a memorable 34 run win in round 2 over Rush in North Dublin and topping 300 in the process. With ex Irish regular Dom Joyce in brilliant form the visitors will give the home side plenty to think about but I take North Down to reach the fourth round on July 4.
The full 3rd round darw is: