All-Ireland T20 crown up for grabs
Davy Holmes (News Letter)
Another first for Irish cricket on Sunday at The Lawn as the inaugural National T20 Cup champions will be crowned. The competition sees the winners from each of the four provincial unions, NCU, North West, Leinster and Munster go head to head.
In one semi-final, host club Waringstown meet Bready in a repeat of last weekend’s Ulster Cup decider, whilst at Wallace Park Clontarf will face Cork County; the respective winners then face off at The Lawn with a 4pm start.
The competition again highlights the growing popularity of the shorter format with all the razzmatazz it brings. Although it not for the purists there is no doubting that it’s here to stay.
Home captain Greg Thompson shared his thoughts ahead of another massive weekend for the club:
“Looking forward to the T20 finals day and an opportunity to stake our claim as the best T20 team in Ireland. We won the Lagan Valley Steels to qualify and last weekend the Ulster Cup.
Bready will provide another stern challenge in the semi-final and perhaps last weekend we were fortunate to dismiss two of their key players in Davy Rankin and their professional before they had a chance to get going.
I’m certainly not expecting an easy passage through to the final and there will be no complacency. In the other semi, it is Clontarf and Cork County; everyone has T20 form as the champions of the respective unions, so it should be interesting.
I certainly think it is brilliant to see so much T20 cricket and am a complete advocate for it. It is a great way for some of the younger guys to express themselves. If we reach the final that will be 12 T20 games we have played as a club this season.
It is great entertainment and certainly has not got in the way of any of the 50 over competitions. I accept that it still does not have the same priority as winning a 50 over competition but this is an all-Ireland finals day and it would great to make history as the first winners.
With T20 you can approach it differently and whilst perhaps with the same players they have different roles to fulfil, there definitely is a chance to innovate.
Look at North Down, they are having a good season in both formats but have different captains with Ally Shields leading in T20 and Marty Moreland concentrating on the 50 overs. Again, you can look at this and say perhaps Ally as a younger captain has been brought up in a T20 era and Marty can then concentrate on the 50 over side of things.”
The entertainment starts at 11am with both semi-finals and if the weather holds it promises to be three fascinating battles.