Ardmore will attempt to become the first team from the NW region to lift the National Cup when they face Railway Union in the decider at North County on Sunday.

It's the eighth edition of the All-Ireland competition for Championship sides, with Leinster sides winning it on five occasions - Rush (3) and Malahide (2) - while the NCU have had two victors, Muckamore in the inaugural edition in 2012, and Carrickfergus in their all-conquering 2014 campaign.

Railway - who won the Irish Senior Cup in 2006 - will start favourites, especially as they will be boosted by the return from injury of Irish international Kevin O'Brien.

The 35 year-old has missed the last few weeks with a hamstring injury which may mean he will play as a batsman only.

"I'm very excited to be playing the final on Sunday," said O'Brien.

"It is our first chance of a trophy for a few years so we are all desperate to get back to winning ways.

"It will be a great chance for our young players to play in a final under pressure. I have every confidence they will combat that and put in some strong performances."

Railway have also in their ranks a nice blend of youth and experience, with O'Brien's international colleague from the 2007 World Cup, Kenny Carroll (pictured above) still a dominant force at the top of the order.

He has forged a strong opening partnership with Zimbawean Glenn Querl, while Irish Under 19 international Alex Stiles has plenty of talent and potential.

Hamza Maan, Saad Ullah , Andy Jackson and Prabanshu Kamal have all been among the wickets in a very balanced bowling unit.

Ardmore have been enjoying a very successful campaign already collecting competitive silverware in the form of the Sammy Jeffrey Shield and Eric Cooke Cup, after lifting the Shaun Bradley Charity Plate as part of their annual challenge game against Eglinton.

Peet Pienaar has scored over 1300 runs while his fellow South African Jared Wilson has been among the runs and wickets too.

There is a spine of experience in the shape of former Irish internationals Gary Neely and Decker Curry, while the Brollys are always competitive.

It should be quite a contest and one that Ardmore captain Peter Harrigan is relishing.

"Firstly what an achievement it’s been to get this far in the National Cup by knocking out two great teams in Balbriggan and Terenure to reach the final.," said Harrigan.


"We’ve had some great all -round team performances and will need another one on Sunday. We have enjoyed recent success in the last few weeks and the whole club is buzzing at the minute, but it’s all about Sunday now.


"Railway are something of an unknown quantity to us, but we know that they’ve some big game players, and it has all the makings of a great final."

Action at Balrothery gets underway at 12.30pm.

2019 NATIONAL CUP RESULTS

https://www.cricketeurope.com/CEIRELAND/2019/CUPS/nationalcup.shtml

RAILWAY UNION SQUAD

  • Kenny Carroll: Age 36. Has opened the batting for Railway for 2 decades and was captain in 2006 when they won the Irish Cup. Scored 145 not out in the first round against Limerick CC
  • Glenn Querl: age 31.ex Zimbabwe u19 player who has settled in Ireland with his Irish wife. Was a tearaway fast bowler in his youth but now an opening bat / wicket keeper. Also captain due to knee injury to regular captain Ciaran Divney
  • Hashir Sultan: age 24. ex YMCA and Adamstown player who is has performed well with bat and ball this season for Railway.
  • Saad Ullah: Opening bowler and hard hitting middle /lower order batsman . Been with Railway since 2005 and been a consistent performer year in year out.
  • Kevin O'Brien: Age 35 . Last game was the semi final tie v Derriaghy and his appearances have been limited this summer due to International commitments. Destructive all-rounder who holds the record for quickest World Cup century.
  • Eoghan Grehan: age 19. Leg break bowler and left hand bat who has come through the Railway youth ranks. Played for Trinity earlier in the season in the Leinster Senior Cup competition
  • Hamza Maan: age 21. Leg break bowler and hard hitting batsman. Has picked up numerous notable scalps with the ball this season and is currently one of the best performing spinners in Leinster. Played for Railway since u15 and has also played for Adamstown
  • Eoin Barron: age 19. Middle order batter and left arm spinner also a very reliable fielder. Also has come through the youth ranks at the club.
  • Digamber Mishra: age 28. Joined Railway last season when he came to Ireland to study. Seam bowler who is effective in the middle overs. Also offers something in the field and with the bat in the lower order
  • Prabanshu Kamal: age 25. Came to Ireland to study and joined Railway this season. Scored a match winning 65 v Balbriggan last month in a league match. Leg-break bowler and middle-order batsman
  • Alex Stiles: age 17. Top order batsman and off spinner. Already scored several senior 100s for Railway. Played for Ireland u19 recently and has been a regular run scorer for Railway and Ireland youth teams the last few seasons.
  • Andy Jackson: age 21. another player who has come through the youth ranks of the club. Right arm opening bowler who has been Mr. Consistent this summer
  • Philippe le Roux: age 14. Made his 1st team debut this season and plaed for Leinster u15 earlier in the summer in the Interpro tournament
  • Mark Canniffe: age 14 . Also made his debut this summer. Scored an impressive 20 last week v North County. Has also played underage for Leinster.
  • Scorer: Judy Cohen.

ARDMORE SQUAD

  • Peter Harrigan (23): The skipper is a talented left-handed middle-order batsman who has scored vital runs this season. Occasional medium pace bolwer.
  • Jared Wilson (19) South African born right arm fast-bowler and hard-hitting middle-order batsman. Has made 457 runs including a century plus 37 wicket in his debut season.
  • Peet Pieenar (20). The South African wicket-keeper batsman has been a revelation in his first season. Has scored 1309 runs at 81.81, hitting six hundreds, one of which was a double one.
  • Decker Curry (52) The former Irish international won 50 caps between 1992 and 2001. He has made 99 senior centuries and this would be a fitting occasion to make his 100th. The left-hander has 537 runs this season at 35, plus has taken 33 wickets with his off-spin.
  • Ciaran Curley (38) Hard hitting late-ordre batsman who has the ability to clear the ropes with ease. Steady medium-pace bowler who also posseses safe hands and a strong throw.
  • Lee Brolly (34) The left-arm spinner is a former Irish youth international. On his return to the side this year he has added balance to the attack and enjoyed a great season taking 38 wickets at 14.08.
  • Conor Brolly(26) Opening bowler who on his day can be unplayable if conditions suit his late swing. Has 31 wickets at 21.87 this season. Can score vital late runs down the order.
  • Conor King (16) The baby of the side is a current NW interpovincial youth player. Steady right-handed batsman with cool temperament. Excellent fielder with safe hands. Occasional left-arm spinner.
  • Ryan Brolly (21) Left-hander who bats at number three and brings a calm assurance with his technical ability. Has scored 423 runs at just over 30. Occasional right-arm off-spinner. Excellent fielder with good hands.
  • Paul McDowell (34) The left-handed opener missed the start of the season but has made the opening slot his own since his return. Can score quickly in the power-play.
  • Gary Neely (44) The former Irish international has been the epitome of consistency openng the attack. He has enjoyed another successful campaign taking 32 wickets at 16 including two five wicket hauls. Useful hard-hitter down the order.
  • Mark Chambers (33) Right-hand top-ordre batsman who scored 98 as he and Peet Pienaar shared a record opening stand of 378 against Sligo. He has scored 272 runs at 24.73. An excellent fielder who won't let the side down if called upon.
  • Caolan Young (17) The leg-spinner has taken 17 wickets at senior level, including a performance of the tournament five-wicket haul against Burndennett in the Eric Cooke Cup. He is a NW Warriors youth interprovincial player.
  • Paul Brolly (55) The grizzled veteran has been playing for his boyhood club for over four decades and still maintains the same boyish enthusiasm. A steady left-handed batsman, and more than useful medium-pacer. Needs to adjust his radar if the game goes to be a bowl-out.
  • Scorer: Dermot Ward.