NATIONAL CUP WASHOUT MEANS BUSY SCHEDULE AHEAD FOR ALL

Unfortunately there were no finishers in Saturday's scheduled National Cup first round ties as rain ruined any chance of results in all 8 ties involving North West clubs.

Creevedonnell came closest to beating the elements although skipper Mo Hanware will be delighted to get another crack at Derriaghy having been reduced to 91 for 9 when the weather intervened. The reverse fixture rule means that the game will now be replayed from scratch at the Curryfree Road venue although as with all the matches a date has yet to be confirmed.

Sion Mills will be happy too as they travelled to Laois and then spent 3 hours sitting around waiting for the rain to stop before finally calling it a day. The Tyrone outfit will now entertain the southerners towards the end of the month as they look to kick-start their 150th anniversary season.

Cricket Operations Director David Bradley stated this week that there were specific rules regarding re-arrangements to which clubs might need to pay particular attention. "Clubs need to be aware that they cannot postpone already scheduled fixtures in order to replay their National Cup games. They may postpone 2nd or 3rd XI matches if their ground is scheduled to be used for those however if teams involved in the All-Ireland have a domestic match scheduled then they cannot re-arrange those to accommodate the National Cup. The reserve date is Sunday 25 May, however only if both sides agree. If no agreement is reached then the matches will be played on Friday 23 May".

One of the tournament favourites, Balbriggan, are also North West bound as they take on Newbuildings and Mr Bradley advised that this one would still take place at Foyle College despite the fact that the club plays on an artificial pitch.

"The rules for the Irish Senior Cup are that all matches must be played on grass however the National Cup is slightly different. Games can be played either on a natural pitch or on an artificial one that has been approved by the regional Union. Newbuildings therefore are able to host this match at their temporary home- possibly the first ever competitive All-Ireland game to be played on the West Bank of the Foyle"

The other replays will see Ballyspallen and Killyclooney head south to take on Malahide and Rush while Drummond and Burndennett are M2 bound as they tackle Bangor and Woodvale respectively. Bonds Glen complete the line up with a home tie against Cliftonville.