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Gallagher Women's Challenge Cup Semi-Final 2 Review - Lurgan v North Down
The Gallagher Women's Challenge Cup semi-finals will be held on Sunday (8th August) as four teams battle it out for a place in the final at Carrickfergus CC later this month.
Lurgan 170-4 (H Grieve 109no, S Hinds 23, R Evans 2-1)
North Down 164-5 (S Maxwell 41, N Morton 28, A Benson 48)
Lurgan were the first winners of this competition back in 2017 – when they beat North Down by 5 runs in the final – and they followed it up by defending their title in 2018. They were in superb form at The Lawn last month as they recorded a 29-run victory over defending champions Waringstown and they'll be keen to bring the trophy back to Pollock Park once again. North Down had been knocked out in the first round for the previous two years but they put that right with a routine 93-run win against Holywood.
Although they currently sit bottom of the Premier League table, their performances have been much better than that position suggests and they are more than capable of springing an upset this weekend.
One to watch
Hannah Grieve (Lurgan)
Grieve smashed 109* in the previous round against Waringstown and followed it up by hitting 86* for the NCU Women in a dominant victory over NWCU Women at Fox Lodge last weekend. When she's on form, there are very few better than Grieve and she has the ability to take a game quickly away from the opposition.
Staci Maxwell (North Down)
North Down captain Maxwell was named Player of the Match in the first round for playing a starring role in the victory which booked her side's spot in the semi-finals. She also impressed for the NCU Women, picking up superb figures of 3-8 from five overs and the opening bowler will be looking to replicate that form at club level this weekend.
League (27th June, 2021)
League (9th May, 2021)
What did they say?
Lurgan captain Chloe Neville: "As a team we are very much looking forward to the semi-final on Sunday. After facing North Down twice already in the Premier League, both teams know each other well and are both very eager to win which makes the match all the more exciting. There's strength in the North Down team but we have been working hard in training and we are very much ready for the game ahead. There's no doubt it will be an exciting match!"
North Down captain Staci Maxwell: "The girls are very excited ahead of our game against Lurgan. Since winning the cup in 2016, women's cricket has come a long way in the NCU and the standard has increased a lot. We have faced Lurgan twice this season already in the league and each team has come away with a win, so it really is all to play for in this game. We will be relying on our mixture of experience and youth going in to the game, where I believe everyone has a role to play."
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