Gallagher Challenge Cup draw sends Carrickfergus cricketers to CIYMS

Carrickfergus Cricket Club have landed a tough tie in the first round of the 2021 Gallagher Challenge Cup.

Shane Matthews (left) of Gallagher and Roger Bell of NCU.

The Middle Road outfit will travel to the Belmont home of defending champions CIYMS in the only all-Premier League encounter of the tournament.

It follows today’s announcement by the Northern Cricket Union (NCU) of the draws for the preliminary round and first round proper of the Challenge Cup.

The preliminary round will see the lowest ranked Section 1 sides play against each other with the ties as follows: Cliftonville Academy v Bangor and Saintfield v Armagh. These matches will be played on Saturday, June 12.

The first round proper will see the remaining Section 1 clubs and the eight Premier League sides enter the competition. These ties will be contested on Saturday, July 3.

Elsewhere, beaten finalists in 2019, Instonians, will face a trip to Eaton Park to take on Ballymena, Lisburn will welcome Donacloney Mill to Wallace Park and Woodvale will host Templepatrick at Ballygomartin Road.

CSNI, North Down and Waringstown will all face a trip to Section 1 clubs in the opening round.

The only all-Section 1 tie will see Muckamore entertain Cregagh at Moylena.

In addition to the draws, insurance broker, Gallagher, has also agreed to sponsor both the men’s and women’s Challenge Cups for a further three years.

Speaking at the draw NCU president Roger Bell said: “We’re glad to have the Gallagher Challenge Cup back again after its hiatus in 2020 due to the Covid-19 pandemic. This year we are hoping to have a full 50-over competition with the preliminary round kicking proceedings off on 12 June.

“We are also delighted to have Gallagher as our sponsor again for the next three years and we look forward to working with them.”

Shane Matthews, NI managing director at Gallagher, said: “We’re delighted to be involved again with the Gallagher Challenge Cup in 2021. This will be our sixth year involved in cricket within the NCU and we’ve really enjoyed it.

“We see ourselves as a community broker and we love being involved with the local community in the summer months.”


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