Ulster teams get kind draw
Ian Callender (Belfast Telegraph)
It was another kind draw for Ulster teams in the Irish Cup when all three sides in the last eight were given home advantage in the quarter-finals.
Holders Waringstown will face Pembroke, second round conquerors of North Down at Comber, and Civil Service North, after a straightforward victory over Balbriggan in the previous round will host Clontarf at Stormont.
Strabane, the only North West survivors from the first round, followed up with victory over Muckamore in round two and have been rewarded with a game against Phoenix, who knocked out an under-strength Instonians side at Shaw’s Bridge in the last round.
Waringstown will be confident of extending their impressive recent Irish Cup record – they have won 14 of their last 15 in the competition – with another victory over the team they beat in the semi-finals in 2015 and 2017, the two years they have won the trophy.
But CSN, despite their unbeaten record in 50-over cup matches this season, face much more formidable opposition with the visit of Clontarf, Leinster League winners in two of the last three seasons and three-times Senior Cup winners since 2012.
The remaining quarter-final will be Anglesea Road, where CIYMS bowed out in the last round, with Merrion at home again, this time to defending but fading Leinster League champions Leinster, who ended Carrickfergus’s interest.
The draw was not so favourable in the National Cup for the three North West survivors with Drummond facing a trip to favourites Rush, whose only defeats in the last four years have been in a bowl-out in 2014 and by one wicket to Terenure last season.
St Johnston and Ballyspallen were paired together to ensure there will be at least one Ulster team in the last four and having already won at The Boathole on the opening day of the season, Ballyspallen will probably start favourites to represent North West in a fifth successive National Cup semi-final.
Irish Cup quarter-final draw: Waringstown v Pembroke, Strabane v Phoenix, Civil Service North v Clontarf, Merrion v Leinster. Games on Sunday July 15
National Cup quarter-finals: Knockharley v Limerick, St Johnston v Ballyspallen, Rush v Drummond, Co Kerry v Co Galway