BREADY and Strabane carry the North West flag in the Irish Senior Cup on Sunday as they bid to improve the union’s miserable record in the all-Ireland competition.
Strabane’s appearance in the semi-final last year was the first time a North West side had even reached the last eight since 2014 and the duo this year go into the second round ties as underdogs.
Although Bready have home advantage, the visitors are Phoenix, who not only amassed 382-5 in the last round against an admittedly under-strength Eglinton, but also won their first seven games of the season to reach the Leinster League Cup final.
Although still without James Shannon, fellow international Simi Singh has been in excellent form with bat and ball.
Strabane head south to Rathmines to face Leinster, who have a played four, lost three record this season and were bowled out for 70 last Sunday by Merrion, but they did knock out Eglinton last year.
With Donemana and Brigade among the high-profile teams to exit in the first round — the Big Two have each actually won just one Irish Cup match in the last six years — they will make a second attempt to play their Senior Cup tie at The Holm on Sunday.
It is still a hectic weekend for the clubs with three White Horse T20 Blast games tonight followed by a full programme of Premiership fixtures tomorrow, with runaway leaders Brigade looking to make it six wins out of six at Eglinton.
Nearest challengers Donemana are at Strabane, although defending champions Bready, just three points back in third place and with a match in hand, will be confident of making it four wins out of five away to basement side Ballyspallen.