NCU logo
Northern Cricket Union
Charity Registration Number: NIC 106791

NCU Facebook Page
NCU Facebook Page
Gallagher Challenge Cup Quarter-Finals Preview

Johnny Morton

The Gallagher Challenge Cup moves into the quarter-final stage on Sunday with eight teams looking to take one step closer to the showpiece final on August 13.

Woodvale vs CIYMS (11am start)
Defending champions CIYMS had to overcome Premier League opponents in Carrickfergus in the first round, winning by 122 runs at Belmont. Graham Kennedy (72) was star of the show on that afternoon and also collected figures of 2-24, and after being involved with the Ireland squad for the ODI series against South Africa in Malahide, the 21-year-old should make his CIYMS return. One player that won't be available is Mark Adair, who will remain in Dublin with the Irish squad for the first match of a three-game Twenty20 series before a further two at Stormont next week.

Woodvale were in imperious form against Templepatrick, easing to a comfortable 10-wicket victory as Aditya Adey picked up figures of 7-14 before James Hall (43*) and Harry Warke (73*) made sure there was to be no upset. The Ballygomartin Road side are coming off an impressive Robinson Services Premier League win against North Down and they'll be hoping they can follow that up with a major cup win. This will be the first meeting of the season between the two sides and both will be keen to make it to the next stage.

Lisburn vs North Down (12pm start)
The other all-Premier League tie will take place at Wallace Park as Lisburn welcome North Down – the most successful team in the history of this competition. Lisburn navigated their way past Donacloney Mill in the first round, bowling their Section One opponents out for 47 before sealing a nine-wicket win. Josh Manley (6-29) caused most of the damage on that afternoon and the Munster Reds seamer will once again be the player to watch on Sunday.

North Down last picked up this famous trophy in 2010, but after winning the Robinson Services Cup last season and making a good start to their league campaign this year, Alistair Shields' men will be aiming for another final appearance in front of home support in August. They beat Cliftonville Academy – who are flying high in Section One – by five wickets to progress, with Aniruddha Chore (49*) leading the way.

Tom Mayes has started life well in the NCU while Shields has already scored a century this season and will be looking for more.

CSNI vs Derriaghy – (11am start)
CSNI are another team with a good recent record in this competition, winning it in 2008, 2014 and 2016 whilst also reaching the final in 2018, where they lost out to Waringstown in a classic. Since then, they have brought in the likes of Ross Adair, Luke Georgeson and Stuart Thompson and they are certainly one of the favourites for the title. Adair (53) was named Man of the Match in the first-round victory over Armagh and if he gets going, there's no ground big enough.

Derriaghy will look at this as their second life after originally losing to Waringstown, but they progress due to their opponents fielding an ineligible player. They have amazingly won all 10 of their league games to date and sit eight points clear at the top with eight games to go as they target a return to the top-flight. If they are to cause a shock, Craig Lewis may need to continue the sort of form he has been showing this season which included a century against Waringstown and figures of 6-10 in a victory over Ballymena last weekend.

Cregagh vs Instonians – (11:30am start)
It' a big week for Cregagh, who competed in the Lagan Valley Steels Twenty20 Trophy on Thursday evening and despite the shock nature of the result, they will be able to take positives into this encounter. In Jonny Moore and Jay Hunter they have an opening partnership capable of getting them off to a quick start while the Ducks also have a bowling attack that covers all bases. Their ultimate ambition is to make it to the Premier League and this will be a big test for Aaron Johnston's side on home turf.

Instonians have reached five Challenge Cup finals in the last decade – including a triumph over North Down in the 2012 decider – and will be hoping to make another deep run this year. They have made some smart signings, bringing in the likes of Cade Carmichael and Cian Robertson, who have complimented the array of young talent at the club which includes Oliver Metcalfe and James Hunter. The Shaw's Bridge outfit will be without key man Shane Getkate, who has been rewarded for his early season form with a call-up to Ireland's Twenty20 squad.

FULL DRAW (Games to be played on SUNDAY JULY 18th):
Cregagh v Instonians
CSNI v Derriaghy
Lisburn v North Down
Woodvale v CIYMS

Gallagher Challenge Cup