Runs galore expected in the North West this weekend
The North West Cricket Union will be hoping for more of the same this weekend after several very tense finishes in last week's opening round of fixtures in the White Horse Hotel T20 Cup.
There were three last-over finishes in the opening set of fixtures including two that went down to the last ball, and there will be no complaints if we get the same again in Round 2.
Bonds Glen recorded a fantastic home win against Coleraine on Saturday and will be hoping to make it two on the bounce as they head to Ballymagorry. The Bee Gees have re-grouped very well over the winter although the Foxies weren't a million miles off it as they lost narrowly at Eglinton. This one has all the makings of another close game.
The Bannsiders will be hoping that Sandel Lodge can provide some home comfort as they welcome Eglinton to the north coast. Coleraine are a strong looking unit despite the absence of Graham Hume this year and there's little doubt that they will get better.
The visitors will have been delighted to start their summer with a win and will have sights firmly fixed on topping the group. A win here would go a long way to realising that.
Burndennett and Glendermott are both looking for their first victory and so points will be at a premium as they meet this weekend. 'Dennett were well held by Newbuildings first up while Bready just edged out Alan Johnson's men at the Rectory.
Game of the day could be at Magheramason where those two first-week winners lock horns. David Rankin was back among the runs for Davy Scanlon's team in their win over Glendermott and if the batting fires for them this year they will be a match for anyone. While Johnny Thompson led the way for Newbuildings but Gareth McKeegan has assembled a very strong side at Foyle View this year and they will definitely fancy their chances in both this game and competition this season.
Donemana will make their first start of the season when they host Ballyspallen. The Holm side had to sit out opening weekend but will be keen to make up for lost time against what is a youthful Roe Valley squad. Having won the competition outright in 2020 we can expect another bold bid this time from the senior cup winners.
St Johnston to make their debut, the Donegal men, along with Letterkenny, now able to play "away" games in the league following last week's removal of the inter-county travel ban. It will be interesting to see what sort of side the Saints go with this year although they have a difficult start at Ardmore.
The Bleachgreen side proved much too strong for Ballyspallen first up and will be keen to build on their impressive start with another win here.
The final group is much more compact with only three teams involved. Brigade have already posted two wins so far, but will have to wait until Sunday when they host Killyclooney for the second weekend running, as they try to make it three.
The Beechgrove side have already beaten both of their opponents and another win here could wrap the group up after just two weeks.
Strabane go to Killyclooney having fallen to a last ball defeat on Sunday and they can take plenty of confidence from their performance against Andy Britton's men.
Let's hope the weather holds to allow another full programme and here's hoping as well that it's as good as last week.
Saturday - Fox Lodge v Bonds Glen; Coleraine v Eglinton; Burndennett v Glendermott; Bready v Newbuildings; Ardmore v St Johnston; Donemana v Ballyspallen; Killyclooney v Strabane
Sunday - Brigade v Killyclooney.