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Gallagher Women's Challenge Cup Final - Preview
Robinson Services

Michael Martin  

CSNI - Winners of the Women's Challenge Cup 2021Consecutive Final number 5 in the Gallagher Women's Challenge Cup for CSNI on Sunday against their formidable opponents Waringstown.

Both teams have impressed this season with convincing semi-final wins in the competition and their respective positions of 1st and 2nd in the Women’s Premier League.

CSNI Women sit top of the Premier League winning 5/5 and are confident going into the final with their unbeaten run of games, only losing once this season to Sunday’s opponents. Waringstown Women have nearly matched CSNI’s form but with one league defeat to them earlier in the season. With it being honours even between the two, Sunday’s game will be a deciding factor in whose season will be more successful.

CSNI Captain Rachael Thomas lifted the trophy last season and is eager to get her hands on it again on Sunday, “We have had a strong start to the season, with five wins from five in the Premier League, leaving us top of the table. We are pleased to see the hard work put in over the winter period and in the first half of the season paying off, with some impressive bowling figures and batting scores throughout the side.”

With a couple of new signings over the winter to further bolster last year’s winning team, CSNI have all skill bases covered.

“We are delighted to have the two new additions of Jess Mayes and Lucie McNaught, bringing us further depth in our bowling unit and our batting side. 
We have had several strong batting scores this year, with many members of the squad contributing valuable runs throughout the season. Jess Mayes has led the bowling attack, proving very difficult to get away and taking wickets. Leah Beattie has bowled a very awkward line and length and has also been very successful.”

Rachael expects a tough and competitive game against a strong Waringstown side on Sunday 

“Having beaten Waringstown at the start of the season in the Premier League and then losing to the side in the group stages of the Challenge Cup, there is no doubt that Sunday’s game will be a competitive one. We know that Waringstown has several strong players but we are hoping to execute the basics well, trusting in our strong bowling unit and the depth in our batting to see us lift the trophy again this year.”

Waringstown CC WomenWaringstown Captain Charlotte Lyons has led her team brilliantly this year and has led from the front with her bat.

“To be honest, it’s been a frustrating season. We have had a lot of unfulfilled fixtures that were out of our control and have not played a huge amount of competitive cricket, which has made it tough to gather momentum. However, in the games we have played, I have been really happy with our team's performances.”

“As a club, we’re in a great place at the moment. We have had plenty of younger players contribute this season with both bat and ball, plus a few new faces have joined the club. Even with Cara Murray unavailable due to Irish commitments, we are having good selection issues, which is something we haven’t had before. We always have good battles with CSNI, they are also a strong team and it’s normally a very well-balanced affair. However, on Sunday, if we focus on ourselves, and play the game to the best of our ability, I am confident we will be happy with the result.”

Sunday is looking to be a great day for all involved and both of these talented teams will no doubt put on a show and demonstrate the strength of Women’s Cricket in the NCU.

Join us at The Ward, Stormont with play beginning at 11am.

Follow the game live on NVPlay: NV-Play Women's Challenge Cup Final