The RSA National Cup takes place this weekend with no doubting the tie of the round - Muckamore take on Balbriggan in a repeat of the inaugural final.

Muckamore just got the the better of Balbriggan in that 2012 final, with Indrajeet Kamtekar and Neil Gill starring in a three wicket win.

The National Cup certainly caught the imagination of the second teir clubs, as maps and sat-navs were sought to search for grounds from Derry to Cork, with teams like Ballaghadereen, Newbuildings, Midleton, Killyclooney, Galway and Sligo getting their first taste of all-Ireland action.

For Muckamore skipper Neil Gill, the competition proved a great success and was the icing on the cake for the County Antrim side in 2012: "As holders the club got a real buzz in 2012 to win the trophy and asa bonus we were short-listed for Cricket Ireland as Club of the Year and are big fans of the competition.

"To have a repeat of last year's final is a tough start but home advantage should help. Jason van der Merwe has gone to CSNI , while Brian Dunlop and Leslie Allen are both retired from first team cricket. We've also lost Jordan Mairs to cage fighting so are missing quite a fewfrom last years final team.

"They have been replaced by Brian Baguley who has passed 1,000 runs in a season more than once for Muckamore , Andy Bratten is a solid all-rounder and ex captain of Armagh, We've also Gary Nicholl who is a quick left-arm swing bowler and up and coming young batsman Sunsoon Stephenson.

"Ballbriggan will get a great welcome to Moylena and a close game is expected

The tie is also keenly anticpated by the North Dublin club who are sweating on the arrival of their overseas professional Azhar Shaffique.

"Balbriggan are looking forward to renewing old rivalries with Muckamore on Saturday. It's a pity the two finalists were drawn together in the first round, but to win the competition you've got to beat the best, and as last year proved, Muckamore were the best. Balbriggan would like to wish all teams in the National Cup the best of luck for this years competition.''

There has to be a result on the day tomorrow, so with heavy rain about, teams are advised to brush up on their Duckworth-Lewis and bowl-out skills.

The draw for the first round in full is as follows:


Ballaghadereen v Midleton
Ballyspallen v Dundrum (NCU)
Burndennett v Laurevale
Civil Service Dublin v Newbuildings
Cliftonville v Sion Mills
Co Clare v Co Galway
Co Kerry v Co Sligo
Derriaghy v Ardmore
Drummond v Malahide
Laois v Killyclooney
Muckamore v Balbriggan
Mullingar v Cooke Collegians
NUI Galway v Limerick Raiders
Rush v Templepatrick
St Johnston v North Kildare
Woodvale v Dundrum (LCU)