Take two for Irish Senior Cup
Ian Callender (Belfast Telegraph)
IT is take two on Sunday for the three Ulster teams involved in the Irish Senior Cup quarter-finals, the only difference they have had to give up home advantage, following last weekend’s wash-outs.
Holders Waringstown, however, will still be favourites to progress against Pembroke and skipper Greg Thompson, despite being without the experience of Kyle McCallan, is not too concerned by having to make a trip to Dublin.
I don’t think it will be a massive difference, Pembroke is still a good ground to play at – some of us played there two weeks ago in the T20 festival – and we can be there in an hour and half so it’s not a massive journey anymore,” he said.
“Kyle is unavailable but the other guys train hard in the squad and are certainly capable of delivering in key matches and key phases of the game.”
The game is squeezed in between tomorrow’s Robinson Services Premier League game at Carrickfergus and next Friday’s Gallagher’s Challenge Cup final against Civil Service North but, as ever, Thompson is taking it one game at a time, which has served them well so far this season, having lost only twice – both Twenty20 Cup games - since the opening day of the season.
CSN have the same Cup final preparation with their league game at Instonians followed by a trip to Clontarf for what looks an even more imposing Irish Cup clash. The positive news is that skipper James Kennedy and international Graeme McCarter are both available for the game, having missed last week’s first attempt.
Strabane are the other team heading south, to Phoenix, after a home league game tomorrow against Coleraine. The Red Caps have made an encouraging return to the big time, after their surprise relegation in 2016, and are currently fourth in the Premiership table, but have scraped through the first rounds of the Irish Cup by four runs and one run, they know they will need a better performance to reach get past the north Dubliners.
Sunday’s highlight in the North West, however, is T20 finals day with holders Bready and Brigade facing off in the Faughan Valley Cup final with a place in the All-Ireland finals on August 18, with a semi-final on their own ground, up for grabs.