Derriaghy target another major scalp
Ian Callender (Belfast Telegraph)
IT MIGHT be a little early to say Derriaghy are doing a Leicester but if they win their Irish Senior Cup tie at Donemana, the rest of the country might have to sit up and take notice.
Last year's NCU Section One champions announced their arrival in the Ulster Bank Premier League with a stunning, totally deserved, opening day victory over CIYMS. But it only gets harder tomorrow when the Queensway side play their first away game of the season against cup specialists Donemana.
Winners of the North West Senior Cup for the last four years and Irish Cup finalists in 2008 and 2009, Donemana expect to win every home match and especially one-off cup ties.
There will be no complacency in the Donemana camp, however, despite the crushing nine wickets win over Eglinton in their opening Premiership game with Derriaghy set to experience the unique atmosphere at The Holm for the first time, a prospect which excites skipper Craig Lewis.
“We've heard all about the Donemana ground and we're all looking forward to the game. I wasn't surprised by our performance last week, I know the lads have it in them. On the day we probably just wanted it more and I know we can bring that to every game, although maybe not with the same result,” said Lewis who has to make one change to their winning line-up.
“Matthew Jennings is not available but Curtis Moorehead, who played for us all last season, is home from university and takes his place.”
A Derriaghy win would be up there with one of the great Irish Cup shocks and would grab the headlines from the glamour ties that came out of the hat last December.
Instonians started their league campaign with an impressive eight wickets win over Civil Service North, featuring a century for Andrew White, and they welcome Leinster's league and cup double winners Clontarf to Shaw's Bridge, including internationals present and past, Andrew Poynter and Alex Cusack.
North Down will face a test of spin when they host the team that lost last year's Leinster cup final, YMCA who have Lightning's Simmi Singh and Yaqoob Ali in their line-up, plus Ireland Under-19 captain Jack Tector.
Holders Waringstown should have a straightforward passage at home to Bready, one of five all-Ulster games.
Merrion, last year's beaten finalists are the Irish Cup specialists. They have been in four of the last six deciders and with John Anderson, Dom Joyce, Tyrone Kane and Dave Langford-Smith all travelling to Coleraine, the Premiership champions could not have asked for a harder opening test; last year they lost at home to Muckamore.
Also in the North West, it will be fascinating to see how CIYMS respond to that opening day upset in a difficult game at Brigade while Carrickfergus will be confident of following up their win against North Down with victory at Drummond.
Civil Service North, Lisburn, Fox Lodge and Ardmore must all head south and if any can return with a win it would be a shock result.