Iqbal holds key to Red Caps success

JUST two weeks into the cricket season and most teams are having a run feast, on Saturday at Fox Lodge, with Coleraine scored 346 and the Foxies replied with 315.

Another high scoring game at Bready saw the home side chase a Brigade score of 251 and lose just two wickets in gaining their second win in a row.

Another two sides who remain unbeaten are Donemana and Strabane who both had impressive wins, Richard Kee’s side had a comfortable 65 run win at Bonds Glen while Strabane showed that they are the side to beat with a five wicket win over Limavady. Newly promoted Creevedonnell got their first win of the season over a disappointing Glendermott side.

This Saturday sees local sides involved in the Bob Kerr Irish Senior Cup First round below we look at some of the fixtures that stand out.

The Hills v Bready

The Leinster outfit have a good record in this competition and with home advantage they will fancy their chances, they have a number of experienced players in their side and they have got off to a reasonable start this season.

Bready after last seasons Northern Bank senior Cup success have got off to a flier this time round, their batting was exceptional in last Saturdays win over Brigade with Ali Sabir leading the run chase.

Prediction: Bready.

North Down v Fox Lodge

The men from Comber are one of the favourites to go all the way, they have a formidable side with players of the calibre of Ryan Haire and Alan Sutherland who scored a century in last weeks win over Carrickfergus.

The Ballymagorry side have started their season with two defeats, their bowling has let them down in those two games and they are certainly missing Andy Britton and Darryl Brown, this looks like another defeat.

Prediction: North Down.

Waringstown v Strabane

This is arguably the game of the round, the home side are the holders and have the experienced Kyle McCallan in charge this season and their side is packed with talent and experience. However their batting wasn’t all that great in last weeks win with just four players getting into double figures.

Strabane even as early in the season as this look likely trophy winners this season, they look to have unearthed an excellent pro in Fasal Iqbal who has been impressive with the bat in their opening games, home advantage may sway this one.

Prediction: Waringstown.

Coleraine v Lurgan

The Bannsiders have certainly been among the runs in their opening games with Irish Under 19 player Scott Campbell being the first centurion of the new season, their new pro also looked good in last Saturdays win.

Lurgan are playing their cricket in Section One this season and their main aim is to get back to the top flight, they had comfortable win last week but will find this a lot tougher.

Prediction: Coleraine.

Creevedonnell v

North County

The Creevies were buoyed by their first win in Senior One last week, they know that this is a season where avoiding relegation would see it to be a success. Nicky Cooke and Kyle Morrow both scored fifties in that win over Glendermott.

North County are previous winners and they are a formidable side with a number of internationals in their starting eleven, they will be hot favourites to make the next round.

Prediction: North County.

Glendermott v

Railway Union

What is going wrong at the Rectory already losing their opening two games, they were especially poor against Creevedonnell with only Roy Silva and skipper Gordon Montgomery showing any form.

The visitors are one of the better Leinster league clubs with a wealth of experience and a good record in this cup it would be a shock if they were to lose.

Prediction: Railway Union.

Bonds Glen v CIYMS

The Bee Gees although losing their opening two games have been far from disgraced, they have been getting reasonable totals but their bowling has been their Achilles heel.

Their opponents have signed a number of quality players and they have won their opening games, Chris Dougherty has joined them from Brigade and they also have top class players like Jeremy Bray and Taimur Khan.

Prediction: CIYMS.

Brigade v Carrickfergus

Mark Simpson’s side have been impressive with the bat in their opening games, however it was their bowling that let them down in their defeat at Bready, however that will only be a temporary blip as they have a talented side.

Carrick suffered a heavy defeat at North Down last week and their main aim would be to stay in the top flight, however they can’t be underestimated but the home side should prove to strong.

Prediction: Brigade.