THE Ireland internationals based in the Republic finally get the chance to play club cricket today after their 14 days in self isolation ended this week.
For Gareth Delany it will be his first and last game for Leinster, but it is already too late for Ireland captain Andrew Balbirnie as Pembroke have no game today and both players head off to the UK tomorrow to join Leicestershire and Glamorgan respectively for the T20 Blast, which starts on Thursday and continues until September 20.
Leinster, who also welcome back George Dockrell, have only an outside hope of finishing top two in Group A of the League Cup – and going through to the semi-finals – needing to win both their remaining games, against Dublin University today and Phoenix next week, but only if Merrion and Pembroke lose their final games.
As Pembroke’s last game is against the students, they will be favourites to reach 100 points while Merrion will reach that landmark today and be the first team through - thanks to their vastly superior net run rate - if they win at Rush.
Group B retains many permutations with five teams separated by just one win, although two of the three co-leaders, Malahide and YMCA meet at the international venue.
The winners are assured of going into the last round of games as joint leaders, at least, but while Peter Chase is the only returnee for Malahide, YMCA will have Harry Tector, Simi Singh and, on debut Curtis Campher all on board.
Railway Union will remain joint leaders with victory at home to Clontarf and North County are the other team still in contention for a top two slot and will be big favourites at Terenure.
Today’s fixtures (2.00) - Group A: Dublin University v Leinster, Phoenix v North Kildare, Rush v Merrion Group B: Balbriggan v The Hills, Malahide v YMCA, Railway Union v Clontarf, Terenure v North County