Clash of the villagers
CLASH OF THE VILLAGERS ON IRISH CUP 2ND ROUND DAY
Eglinton's John Pierce labelled this one the villagers v the villagers as soon as the draw was made and while the North West side was delighted with the prospect of such a high profile game, they are in no doubt at all about the size of the test in front of them.
Not that the villagers (North West style) are any pushover of course- Stuart Thompson will be delighted with a “pressure off” game that could give some of his side the chance to showcase their talents. Himself, Williams, Averill, Richard Wylie plus the Millar and Pierce brothers won't mind being underdogs for the day, that's for sure.
The NCU side are the current All-Ireland champions however and will arrive with a team littered with quality from top to bottom. Skipper Lee Nelson, himself a player right out of the top drawer, can look over his shoulder at any given moment and find Cobus Pienaar, James Hall, Greg Thompson, Kyle McCallan, Jonathan Bushe, Gary Kidd, James McCollum, Phil Eaglestone and Adam Dennison all looking his way.
To be brutally honest, Eglinton is probably the last ground you want to be playing a side like that on because there is no leveller there. The place is likely to be in fantastic nick and that will only play into the visitors' hands still further. It should be a wonderful occasion and hopefully draw a big crowd as well but it would be some surprise if the hosts could win it.
Fox Lodge of course are also in action- the Championship boys helping to fly the flag where most of their Premiership cousins couldn't. Brian Allen's own form has been a real boost for the Ballymagorry men so far this season and with Marco Marais, Jason Milligan, Luke Hayes, Andrew McGinnis and Dean McCarter they have a top order that will always give them a chance.
The visitors are another high-quality outfit with Leinster Lightning trio Simi Singh, Yaqoob Ali and Sean Terry joined by Ireland under-19 brothers Jack and Harry Tector. Chuck in native Australians James Parkinson and Tom Fisher and you get an idea of the task facing the Foxies on Sunday, however once again the home side will be very much underdogs with little in the way of pressure to worry them.