T20 high on the agenda
It's all about T20 cricket this coming weekend with the start of the Interprovincial series taking centre stage in Dublin over the next few days.
The four regional sides will play their first three matches of the competition between Saturday and Monday before completing their schedule in the second "blitz weekend" at Bready in August.
The Warriors will take on the Northern Knights at Pembroke on Saturday morning before tackling hosts Leinster Lightning on Sunday afternoon. The two furthest travellers, the North West and Munster Reds, will then finish off their programmes against each other on Monday morning.
The Union had agreed to postpone the Premier Leagie matches to facilitate the T20, however a couple of domestic T20 double-headers and the trio of Championship games will still go ahead on Saturday as well as the two remaining senior cup replays on Sunday.
There are also a couple of T20 group matches locally on Friday night with Donemana entertaining Strabane and Brigade hosting Glendermott. Much will depend on availability in both of those but with the Faughan Valley Cup now likely to be Donemana's best chance of silverware this season, they will be keen to ensure that they qualify for the knockout stages.
The two Waterside neighbours don't do low-key derbies of course so there should be a decent crowd at that one where the hosts will be keen to maintain their superb start to the campaign.
Brigade really do have the two main domestic competitions in their own hands at the minute but the hunger is definitely there to make it three. They should now qualify for the knock-out stages of this one regardless of how they fare here. Winning of course is a habit and Andy Britton is unlikely to let his side take their eyes off the prizes in the coming weeks.
Saturday's double-headers are at Ballyspallen and Coleraine with the Roe Valley team playing Eglinton and Bready respectively. It's a busy weekend for 'Spallen given their continued involvement in the senior cup but they have a decent record in domestic T20 and they too will be keen to stay in the tournament as long as possible.
Coleraine are scheduled to meet Strabane and then Brigade as they look to pick up the pace after a testing start to their season.
The Bannsiders have picked up a couple of league wins that could well prove vital as the season unfolds and this is something of a 'free hit' for them as they look to improve their batting fortines.
The north coast side will be without Graham Hume and Varun Chopra, both of whom have been included in the provisional Warriors squad to travel south on Saturday. That being the case they may opt to give their younger players the opportunity to play at senior level.
In the Championship, pre-season title favourites Fox Lodge and Ardmore are scheduled to meet at Ballymagorry in what could be a telling game even at this early stage. The Foxies are unbeaten after three matches while tne Bleachgreen outfit suffered their first reverse of the campaign in a 2-run defeat against Burndennett last time.
Both sides are sure to be thereabouts come September but won't want to be playing catch-up against the other, nor indeed against leaders 'Dennett so early in the summer.
On Sunday we move to those senior cup replays where Ballyspallen, Strabane, Ardmore and Eglinton will be bidding to join Brigade and Glendermott in Monday's semi-final draw.
They are two notoriously difficult matches to unravel with 'Spallen slight favourites to get past the Red Caps. Both of these sides have struggled with the bat this season- Strabane's problems clearly highlighted in the Irish Senior Cup last weekend when they bowled Leinster out for 121 but couldn't get them.
The former champions do have several players capable of much more for sure, but they seem in something of a rut at present.
Eglinton are marginal favourites at Ardmore too but with Decker Curry looking in good nick last weekend and Peet Pienaar starting his life at the Bleachgreen in good form, this is far from simple.
The villagers do have plenty of match-winners too of course and the hosts will be very mindful of Mike Erlank and the two Millars.
With Eglinton hosting this year's decider, now would be a good time for them to bring it together.