Saturday, April 20, 2024

Cricket Ireland: It’s quarter-finals weekend in the Clear Currency Irish Senior Cup and National Cup

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Photo Credit: Cricket Ireland

It’s quarter finals weekend in the Clear Currency Irish Senior Cup and Clear Currency National Cup as 16 teams will go into battle for semi-final places in their respective competitions.

Clear Currency Irish Senior Cup

The Clear Currency Irish Senior Cup will see two all-Leinster clashes along with two Leinster-NCU match-ups. Two-time Irish Senior Cup winners The Hills will host Lisburn at The Vineyard. Cormac McLoughlin-Gavin and Mark Donegan combined for 195 runs, while Athar Farooqi took five wickets in The Hills second round victory over Cork County while Lisburn were comfortable winners over Donemana. Mathew Humphreys had an excellent day for Lisburn, scoring 58 runs and taking 3 wickets.

They will be looking to the likes of Faiz Fazal, who’s been very influential this season, the aforementioned Humphreys and captain Callum Atkinson for inspiration on the day, while they also welcome back Ireland International Josh Manley to the side.

Lisburn captain Callum Atkinson is looking forward to the trip to the capital and said:

“After two tough games at home against Malahide and Donemana, we are looking forward to the challenge of facing The Hills on Sunday.

“The Irish Cup is very exciting as we rarely play against teams from outside of the NCU other than in this competition and preseason friendlies, but we know The Hills are a good side that are always competitive. It will be another tough game on Sunday but we’re going in with confidence after a positive start to the season in NCU domestic competitions.

“In terms of team news, Josh Manley returns to our side after a few weeks out. Everyone else is fit and looking forward to what should be good day out for our club. Not least our supporters who are glad to get an away trip after two home draws in previous rounds.”

Cup holders Pembroke will host NCU side CIYMS at Sydney Parade. Pembroke came out the right side of a cracking tie against Dublin rivals YMCA in the second round, winning by just one wicket, and despite the absence of some key players will head into the game full of confidence. For CIYMS, they were big winners against Newbuildings, despite Jared Wilson’s 124, with ten of their batters reaching double figures.

Pembroke’s Paul Lawson said:

“We’re really looking forward to hosting CIYMS in the Irish Senior Cup on Sunday; after the tense win against YMCA in the previous round, excitement is high for the quarter-final. Unfortunately we are without some of our players due to being on international duty, so we’ll be reliant on our squad depth alongside our consistent performers this season in Diarmaid Tucker, JJ Garth, Theo Lawson and Poonish Mehta in order to progress.

“We don’t know too much about CIYMS, but by all accounts they are the team to beat in the NCU with a number of talented players available to them, so no doubt it will be a tough, competitive contest on Sunday afternoon.”

Jacob Mulder of CIYMS is excited for the challenge:

“It’s great to be back playing the Irish cup after a few years without it. Every player in the country loves playing in this competition and we are no different.

“We are aware of just how strong a side Pembroke are, even when they are missing a few, and it’s never easy travelling down to play teams in Dublin. However, we travel down full of confidence after some really good team performances recently, including our win against Newbuildings in the previous round where we scored 326 without anyone reaching a half century.

“Our batting depth has been tested on occasions but has stood up under pressure with the likes of Jack Beattie having a great season with crucial knocks in the middle/lower order. Ross Adair has obviously had a massive impact for us at the top of the order – when he’s on he takes pressure off the rest of our batting group and allows us to play our natural games which has seen everyone through the middle order contribute at different stages of the season.

“Quite a few of us have played at Sydney Parade before. Dale and his ground staff always produce great cricket wickets and we, along with our bus full of supporters can’t wait for Sundays match.”

Phoenix take on fellow Cricket Leinster Premier League members Balbriggan in one of these weekends Irish Senior Cup quarter final. Bouyed from their record breaking win in the previous round against North Down, the men from the Park are looking forward to heading out to North County Dublin for this intriguing clash.

Phoenix Chair of Cricket Aidan Chester said:

“We’ve gone from the sublime to the ridiculous in the last few weeks. It was a thrilling day to see our boys score the highest Senior Cup score in the Park and back it up with a strong showing in the field against a much fancied North Down in the previous round. In recent weeks we’ve had some good wins led by our bowling attack of Skipper Kane, Danish International Oliver Hald and the ever reliable Conor Sheil. Ben White is leading the spin attack and we’ve taken some great catches too!

“Our batting has been up and down, going from scoring over 300 to more average scores of 130 to 150, but no matter the challenge the boys have got stuck in to their tasks and they fully deserve their good results. I’m really pleased to see they are getting rewarded for all the hard work they are putting in and the fun they are having with their cricket.

“So this weekend, the side led by Tyrone Kane, will be really up for the challenge and will be looking to continue their Cup campaign. The side will contain most of the previous round heroes including Adam Chester and Theo Dempsey who combined to score 138 off just 59 balls to put the fixture beyond North Down. Alongside these two the Phoenix batting line of Pretorius, Black, Bennett and others will be hoping to create the needed platform for the bowling attack including Kane, Hald, Sheil and White. An exciting weekend ahead!”

Clontarf and Leinster will go head-to-head in Clontarf. Eoghan Delany, PJ Moor and David Delany were influential in their victory over CSNI in the previous round, while Leinster were comfortable winners over Eglinton in a low scoring contest.

Leinster’s Jarryd Chetty said:

“The lads have worked hard this season and are excited about the quarter-final clash against Clontarf. We will have a well-balanced team out on Sunday and we’re up for the challenge. We have played some positive cricket over last few weeks so we’re looking to continue with this approach. Andrew Tonge, Mark Tonge, Devan Keenan and JP O’Dwyer all come into the match day 11. They will add a good mix of youthful energy and experience to the team.

“Ben Mitchell, Bilal Azhar and Joey Carroll continue to lead the way with bat; Joey has been in the runs recently so peaking at the right time for us. c

“Clontarf are an excellent team and we have had some good battles with them over the years. We are however not paying too much attention to the opposition but rather focusing on going through our processes and letting the result take care of itself.

“The weather looks good over the weekend so should be an excellent game of cricket.”

Clear Currency Irish Senior Cup quarter-final draw
  • The Hills v Lisburn
  • Balbriggan v Phoenix
  • Pembroke v CIYMS
  • Clontarf v Leinster

Keep an eye on all the latest scores here:

Clear Currency National Cup

In the Clear Currency National Cup we have teams from the North West, the Northern Cricket Union (NCU), Leinster and Connacht Unions still left in the competition. Ballyspallen will host the cup holders Railway Union in Limavaddy, a game the club are looking forward to hosting.

Ballyspallen Vice Captain James Thompson, who will be captain on the day, knows how difficult a challenge it will be against the holders, but is very excited at the prospect: 

“There’s a great buzz about the club having reached the quarter finals of the National Cup. The result against Kerry in the last round has created a lot of excitement at Bridge Park. The club continues to focus on youth, and we like to give the younger players every opportunity to play at this level.

“At Ballyspallen we realize that this is going to be a tough game against Railway Union, a top team with great history, and current holders of the National Cup. However, this will be a good test for our young players and a great experience to play against top level opposition.

“Our batsmen are all well capable of scoring runs led by Damith.  On the bowling side we have found that our spin attack in recent weeks has proven valuable against some quality opposition in the Northwest. We hope to continue with our youth policy and have a number of players who have now represented the Northwest at inter-pro youth level,  including Josh Wilson and Seth Guy, with this game only helping to build on their experience. No matter what the result we aim to provide a warm welcome as always to Railway Union and their supporters on Sunday. We continue to build for the future.”

County Galway will be hoping to reach the semi-finals of the competition for just the second time when they host Terenure in Lydican. In the previous round County Galway comfortably beat their neighbours Ballaghaderreen by 9 wickets, with four of their bowlers taking 2 wickets apiece. Terenure were 9 wicket winners over Bond’s Glen. Seamus Lynch scored an unbeaten 98 in that game. 

County Galway president John O’Dea is hoping history doesn’t repeat itself this weekend:

“Terenure will be the first team from Cricket Leinster to play in the Lydican since 2019, when indeed they themselves were the last visitors, winning a National Cup match on that occasion.

“We look forward to their return visit this weekend… this is the furthest County Galway have progressed in the National Cup since 2018 when the club reached the semi-finals.

“The clubs met in Leinster Division 2 last season, and It will be good to renew our rivalry west of the Shannon!”

County Galway coach Tom Maxfield said:

“It’s great to see such a high profile game come to Galway. We are really looking forward to hosting what should be a great game. The players are really up for it especially as some of our senior players have played with Terenure in seasons past and really want to get one over pervious teammates.”

Rush will travel to North to take on Cregagh in the Cregagh Memorial Recreational Grounds. Jarred Barnes scored a century for Rush in their second round victory over Middleton, while Cregagh overcame Killyclooney by 37 runs. Daniel Cooper top scored for Cregagh with 111 in that game.

Rush Coach Lynal Jansen is looking forward to the challenge against Cregagh. He’s Looking for a strong batting performance from Skipper Neil Rock and overseas player Llew Johnson supported by the experience of Saadat Gull and Gary Smith.

Skipper Neil Rock said:

“A good balance of youth and experience has been selected for the game. We’re happy that our opening bowler Allan Eastwood returns to the side and we’re looking forward to another top performance from ‘in form’ Daniel Coffey (vice captain).”

Derriaghy will host North County at Queensway. The hosts are having a fine season, with seven victories out of eight in the league and reaching the semi-finals of the cup in the NCU. Craig Lewis scored 154 in their win over Glendermott, while Morne Venter took 6 wickets. North County are also in fine form of late and are currently on a 3-game winning streak. Bowlers Malcolm Nofal, Eddie Richardson, Ghulam Muhammad are in excellent form while Jamie Grassi, Richardson and former Ireland international John Mooney are all scoring runs aplenty. It’s all set to be a very entertaining game. 

Derriaghy captain, Curtis Moorhead said:

“The club is very excited about this quarter final against North County and everything that comes with it. We’re sure to get a good crowd down to watch games like this which spurs our guys on even more to do well.

“We don’t underestimate the strength of North County; their pedigree speaks for itself. However Derriaghy has been very successful this year so we will go into this game with the mindset of winning, like we do every game.

“We have been very fortunate this year to have such a strong squad, so I’ve had the luxury of being able to select different players for different competitions. This has given the opportunity for different players to show what they can do!

“Hosting games is also very important to us; we always try our best to afford all travelling teams the famous Aghy hospitality and make them feel as welcome as possible. Home advantage is a big thing at Queensway given the short straight boundaries (this always provides the makings of a very exciting game for the spectators.

“Overall we’re very excited and well up for the challenge this Sunday!”

Clear Currency National Cup quarter-final draw
  • County Galway v Terenure
  • Ballyspallen v Railway Union
  • Cregagh v Rush
  • Derriaghy v North County

Keep an eye on all the latest scores here:


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