In form Newbuildings host champions Bready at Foyleview

Following the completion of the Long’s SuperValu group stages at the weekend, the North West Cricket Union (NWCU) has announced the final set of league fixtures that will determine the winners of the Premier and Championship divisions.

Bready captain David Scanlon is expecting a tough test at Foyleview, on Sunday.
Bready captain David Scanlon is expecting a tough test at Foyleview, on Sunday.

Teams will only play against sides that they haven’t already met in the group phase, and will carry forward any points won against the ones they have played.

This stage of the competition will get under way on Saturday 16 July.

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In the event of a game being postponed because of weather or conditions, one attempt at a replay will be set by the Fixture Secretary.

Newbuildings’ Gareth McKeegan has been top form.

There are no fixtures scheduled on Sunday 17 July when Ireland Women will play the women’s world champions Australia at Bready.

The top two teams in the Premier Division meet this Sunday, as leaders Newbuildings host second placed Bready, in the Sports Hub North West Senior Cup semi-final.

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For Bready skipper David Scanlon he’s expecting a tough test at Foyleview, but admits the Magheramason men are using last season’s semi-final loss to Eglinton, as motivation going into this Sunday’s game.

“Yes we won the league last year and that was brilliant but the biggest disappointment we had last year was losing the semi-final to Eglinton,” he insisted.

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“The performance we put in against Eglinton at home, really upset the boys at the end of the year and with that in mind we’re raring to go and looking to put that right.”

Scanlon feels the champions have it all to do if they harbour hopes to retain their top flight crown and facing Newbuildings is a perfect test for their forthcoming league campaign.

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“We lost out on points obviously because the Ardmore game was washed out, so we’ll probably go into the second half of the season slightly behind Newbuildings, so we’ll have to come out fighting to try and overtake them in that sense,” he added.

“The two teams are doing quite well and the big players seem to be showing up, especially for Newbuildings at home, so we’ll just have to come down and give it all guns blazing.

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“We have a full squad to pick from, so it’s going to be an interesting selection meeting to see who makes it and whatever team is selected hopefully we can perform well.”

The Bready captain also concedes that the NWCU probably would have preferred Sunday’s last four tie to have been the final.

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“I think it would have been a very good final,” he said. “In my eyes and no disrespect to anyone else, but you want the biggest clubs in the final.

“At the minute Newbuildings support and stuff like that have them as a big club, were as we probably bring the prestige to being the league champions, so yeah it is disappointing not to meet them in the final, but as the old adage says, you have to beat the best teams to win anything, so there’s no better time than beating them in a on-off semi-final game.”

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The former North West Warriors bowler is expecting a big crowd at Newbuildings on Sunday, especially as both teams are near neighbours.

“Since the draw has been made I have been hearing how big a crowd is going to be at the semi-final,” he confirmed.

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“How tough the game is going to be for us and I know it’s going to be seriously tough but we are hoping that the omens of the last few times we have played at Newbuildings continue and we beat them again.

“If we could win on Sunday then it will give us confidence for the remainder of the season, so if we just keep doing what we have been over the last few years of worrying and trying to win the games that we have in front of us, we should hopefully have enough to be crowned champions again.

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“To be honest we haven’t had many big games this year, especially in the longer format and we haven’t been really, really pushed by any of the teams in the league, so it will be a big task for us if Newbuildings push us, to see how we react to it.”

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