Cup chaos continues as concerns raised over Final

Ifticar Hussein narrowly escapes being bowled out by James Robinson, St Johnstone. (0907SL05) Photo: Stephen Latimer
Ifticar Hussein narrowly escapes being bowled out by James Robinson, St Johnstone. (0907SL05) Photo: Stephen Latimer

AT THE start it was an inconvenience, but Sunday’s postponement of the Northern Bank Senior Cup quarter-final tie between Donemana and Glendermott has thoroughly frustrated competition organisers to the extent that plans are now afoot to move the showpiece final away from the traditional end of July weekend.

Simply put, the two teams will try for the FIFTH time to play their cup shoot-out next Saturday but failure to get a result then will mean that the earliest possible date for a sixth attempt will be the following weekend.

Sunday is out as Donemana are hosting Railway Union in the Bob Kerr Irish Senior Cup, therefore, if the Northern Bank tie isn’t settled next Saturday, the winners will have to wait until July 28th, the scheduled date of the decider to play their semi-final tie.

The Cricket Operations Committee met in midweek to discuss the scenario and although they had hoped that the matches would go ahead on Sunday past, they agreed to ask Bready, hosting the final for the first time this year, to provide an alternative date in case of emergency. The Magheramason club is believed to be very keen to go ahead on schedule but have tentatively offered the last weekend in August as a contingency

It could have been worse too as St Johnston’s ground was totally unplayable ahead of their last eight tie with Brigade but great credit the Division Two side who agreed to forfeit home advantage as Beechgrove was just about playable on Sunday.

As expected, the reigning champions proved too strong for their visitors and a convincing win at least means that one of the semi finals - Coleraine v Brigade - can now go ahead this Saturday.

There was only one league game on Saturday as fixtures start to stack up there too, Strabane recording a thumping win over Bready to create an unprecedented five-way tie at the top of Division One.

Those two, plus Donemana, Coleraine and Limavady all now have their sets sight on league glory and such are the complexities of this summer that the two sides who played on Saturday are also playing each other again at the minute - Bready v Strabane - with part two scheduled to get under way at Magheramason last night.

There had been three North-West survivors heading into the quarter-finals of the RSA National Cup on Saturday but all three failed to reach the last four; Sion Mills and St Johnston losing in the dreaded bowl-out while Drummond came unstuck at Muckamore.

Eglinton took advantage of St Johnston’s cup commitments to pull two points clear at the top of Division two with a straightforward win at home to Killyclooney.