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First Full Weekend Fixtures for the 2018 NCU Robinson Services Leagues.

Richard White (NCU PRO) &
Wylie McKinty
Robinson Services

The 2018 Northern Cricket Union Robinson Services Premier League commences this Saturday, and promises to be another closely fought competition. Last Season Waringstown won the title having a superior run rate to CIYMS, and they begin their title defence at The Lawn against Carrickfergus.

Image right shows last seasons winning captain Greg Thompson (Waringstown) with David Robinson (Managing Director of Robinson Services) and Richard Johnson (Vice President NCU).
(Photo © Rowland White / PressEye)

Game of the day is at The Green, Comber, where North Down play CIYMS; both sides performed strongly last season with CIYMS runners up and North Down third. CIYMS appear to be unchanged from 2017 with Nigel Jones still in charge while North Down welcome back Ryan Haire to The Green.

Newly promoted Armagh's first game back in the top fight after over 60 years is a trip to Moylena to take on Muckamore. Armagh have all-rounder Stuart Lester available after spending a winter down under in Australia.

Instonians will be seeking a stronger league performance this year as they make the short trip to Stormont to take on CSNI. Both Instonians and CSNI have new captains this season with veterans Andrew White and James Kennedy in charge.

Robinson Services Premier League Saturday Fixtures
CSNI v Instonians, at Stormont, Belfast
Muckamore v Armagh, at Moylena, Muckamore
North Down v CIYMS, at The Green, Comber - 12noon start
Waringstown v Carrickfergus, at The Lawn, Waringstown - 12noon start

The game of the day in the Robinson Services League Section 1 is at Wallace Park, where Lisburn, fresh from an opening day victory over Cregagh, take on Holywood. After several close season signings (including Nathan Burns from North Down) Holywood may be hoping to spring a surprise on the former Premier League team.

Newly promoted Cregagh will be looking for a change in fortunes from their opening game defeat against Lisburn when the travel to play Downpatrick at The Meadow. The other team promoted from Section 2 last season, Laurelvale host Donacloney Mill in a local derby. Donacloney Mill include former Waringstown player Davy Dawson in the ranks in 2018.

Update: Bangor v Woodvale, Derriaghy v Lurgan and Downpatrick v Cregagh have been called off.

Robinson Services League Section 1 Saturday Fixtures
Bangor v Woodvale, at Upritchard Park, Bangor - POSTPONED
Derriaghy v Lurgan, at Queensway, Derriaghy - POSTPONED
Downpatrick v Cregagh, at The Meadow, Downpatrick - POSTPONED
Laurelvale v Donacloney Mill, at Mullavilly Road, Laurelvale
Lisburn v Holywood, at Wallace Park, Lisburn

In the Robinson Services League Section 2 as of writing three games have already fallen foul of the heavy rain that has flooded some grounds throughout April. Donaghadee v Larne, Drumaness v Ballymena and Dundrum v Belfast Superkings are the games that will have to be rearranged. Belfast Superkings will have to wait another week to make their debut in NCU cricket.

Victoria could find things tricky at the newly merged team of Cliftonville Academy. Despite losing Captain Matty McCord to Carrick in the close season Cliftonville Academy will surely start as one of the favourites for promotion from Section 2.

The final game sees Dunmurry facing the long trip west to take on Monaghan.

Robinson Services League Section 2 Saturday Fixtures
Cliftonville Academy v Victoria, at BRA Castle Grounds, Belfast
Donaghadee v Larne, at Northfield, Donaghadee - POSTPONED
Drumaness v Ballymena, at The Village Ground, Drumaness - POSTPONED
Dundrum v Belfast SuperKings, at The Meadow, Dundrum - POSTPONED
Monaghan v Dunmurry, at St Macartans College, Monaghan Town - POSTPONED

If anyone hears of any games called off in the next 24/48 hours then send a message to the NCU's twitter account: @NCU_news