Both sides have had very good Premier League campaigns with the pair still retaining an outside chance of catching leaders, Bready, but this weekend they’ll be focused on Eglinton where the teams lock horns tomorrow (Friday) and Saturday (11am starts on both days).
For Foxies skipper, Aaron Heywood, he’s confident his side are capable of shocking the Waterside men but stressed they’ll need to be at their best as they go into the final as underdogs.
“In the last two rounds we have been underdogs and I don’t mind that because, if anything, it takes a bit of pressure off us,” stated Heywood.
“So far it has worked for us so the underdogs tag won’t faze me and people can say what they want.
“It’s probably fair to say we’re underdogs, Newbuildings are a quality side and proved it at the weekend (by beating Brigade in T20 Final). They have been really strong since they have come to the fore but the underdogs tag is something I don’t mind. As I said, it has worked out well for us, especially in recent games.
"Against Donemana and Eglinton not many gave us a chance but we showed what we were capable of and I have full belief in the boys that we can go out and match those performances, if not go better again.”
“Anyone can beat anyone in the league over these last few years and I think that’s the best way to sum us up. It’s also something that I have always said to our boys because on our day we’re capable of beating anyone. If we can start doing it consistently that would be great and that’s the aim for us.
“We are becoming more consistent and I have full faith in the boys this weekend that we can go out and do the business.”
As for Newbuildings captain, Jared Wilson, he too knows how big a success story it would be for the Waterside men if they were able to secure the cup.
“It’s a huge occasion for the local community and everyone is really looking forward to the final,” Wilson explained.
“Every time I go into the shops everybody is speaking about it, everyone working at the tills are talking about it so it’s a massive occasion for the community. We are definitely playing for the community of Newbuildings this weekend and I hope we can come out on top.”
The South African admitted that his side will start favourites this weekend but said if they play to their potential they will give themselves a great chance of winning.
“I would say so on paper we’re potentially favourites but cricket is a very funny game. As long as we can keep doing what we have been doing all season, get our skills right, then there should be no problem with us lifting the trophy this weekend,” he added.
“I think it’s definitely going to be a very good wicket. I have heard it’s going to be a hybrid wicket, so it’s definitely going to be a batter’s track.
“Potentially if we do win the toss then maybe bat first and score as many runs as we can because I believe score-board pressure is always going to do the trick on any big occasions, especially if we can get really good support. I think the first innings is going to be vital in terms of just putting runs on the board to take that pressure off us.
“I feel whoever wins the toss, bats first and scores runs that’s going to be the team who does best.”
The umpires’ team for the final is Vinny O’Hara and Ivor Dunn (on-field) with Tony McCloskey third umpire.
Both sides are expected to bring a huge support to the village on Friday and the NWCU have asked supporters to note the following arrangements.
No car parking is available inside the ground or in the adjacent ‘Widow’s Row’. Admission to the game is £5 per day (£3 concessionary - under 16s or over 65s). No alcohol carry-outs are permitted inside the ground. Bar facilities and food outlets will be in operation throughout both days.
Play will start at 11am on both days (weather permitting). DLS will be in operation; overs lost will come into play with immediate effect should that situation arise. The umpires and match manager will decide on close of play times for each day.