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Gallagher Challenge Cup - Second Round Preview

Michael Martin  

The second round of the Gallagher Challenge Cup gets underway tomorrow and looks to be an eventful day of cricket for all involved. Supporters in the NCU acclaimed this round because of the entry of the Premier League teams into this historic competition.

League Section 1 teams who received a bye in the first round are now ready to start their campaign and teams who won their first-round ties will look to keep the momentum going and prove their worth against the familiar league and for most, top-flight opposition.

Last year's winners CIYMS make a trip to Cliftonville Academy at the picturesque Castle Grounds and Nigel Jones's CIYMS will look to get their trophy defence up and running with a win. Newcomers to the Premier League, Cliftonville Academy have struggled in their debut year in the top-flight but will look to ignite some cup magic and try to upset the previous year's winners.

Cregagh and Muckamore are no strangers to each other after a couple of seasons' worth of battles in the Section 1 and Cregagh, who are without a win in any league cricket this season, will be determined to book their place in the quarter-finals and take some form into their league fight. Muckamore, with their blend of experienced and talented young players, will relish the opportunity to progress further in this wonderful competition.

CSNI v Ballymena sees the return of James Kennedy to Stormont and hopefully, the fixture will be special because of this factor.

Dundrum and Derriaghy have been in great league form with Derriaghy coming out as victors by 7 wickets when they both played each other last month. Both teams have some excellent match-winning talent on show with both bat and ball. This one will be an exciting face-off down in Dundrum.

The earliest start of the day (11:00) involves a big Premier League clash between recent past winners of the competition Instonians and North Down at Shaws Bridge.
Premier League leaders Lisburn have a home tie against struggling Bangor who are yet to get on the points board in the league this season. Lisburn, led by Callum Atkinson, will want to get the job done and carry their significant form into the quarter-finals.

2018 Gallagher Challenge Cup winners Waringstown host Armagh who are boosted by the return of pace bowler Ben Mackey after spending last, and the start of this season playing for CSNI.

Finally, another top-flight clash between in-form teams, Carrickfergus and Woodvale. Both sides are filled with class and confidence and either side could come out on top of this one. Their previous meeting this season was an exciting encounter with Woodvale defending 287 and winning by 21 runs.

Gallagher Challenge Cup 2nd round fixtures:
Cliftonville Academy v CIYMS (11:30)                        
Cregagh v Muckamore (12:00)
CSNI v Ballymena (12:00)
Dundrum v Derriaghy (12:00)
Instonians v North Down (12:00)
Lisburn v Bangor (12:00)
Waringstown v Armagh
Woodvale v Carrickfergus (12:00)

Gallagher Challenge Cup

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