CIYMS face familiar foes in North County
Ian Callender (Belfast Telegraph)
NCU Premier League champions CIYMS will have familiar opposition in the first round of the Irish Senior Cup next year.
For the second season in a row, the Belmont side have been given a home tie against five-times winners North County as they bid to win the competition for the first time.
Chris Dougherty was the batting hero last year, scoring 122 in CI's comfortable 117 runs victory, and with home advantage they'll be favourites to reach the last-16.
Yesterday's draw also sent Muckamore to Malahide again, and the NCU side will be hoping that is a good omen as they won by one wicket there last year.
Holders Waringstown, and last season's other three semi-finalists, received a first round bye, along with Leinster because only one team from Munster entered next year's competition.
That team is Premier League champions Cork County, who will head to Belfast to face Instonians, one of four NCU sides drawn at home - the others are Carrickfergus against YMCA, and North Down, who host the most attractive match against Donemana. Senior Cup holders Brigade head south to take on Pembroke.
Irish Cup first round: Instonians v Cork County, The Hills v Ballyspallen, Phoenix v Eglinton, Malahide v Muckamore, Coleraine v Civil Service North, Carrickfergus v YMCA, CIYMS v North County, Glendermott v Rush, North Down v Donemana, Bready v Lisburn, Pembroke v Brigade. Games to be played on Saturday, May 25.
Byes: Leinster, Waringstown, Merrion, Clontarf, Strabane