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GMcG Junior Cup Final - Preview

Gordon Scott  

The NCU GMcG Junior Cup reaches its climax on Saturday when CSNI II and Lisburn II clash at Laurelvale CC.

This prestigious trophy was first contested in 1891 and has retained its status as the premier Cup competition for junior sides in the NCU.

Both this season's finalists have won the Cup in recent times, although, in CSNI's case, it was as NICC II in 1979, 1994 and 1996. Lisburn II were also successful in 1964, 1992 and 2016.

Both teams have enjoyed relatively comfortable passages to the final.

CSNI II opened their campaign in Round 2 with a 98-run win over Holywood with teenager Ryan Hunter top scoring with 78. A quarter-final draw against Instonians II resulted in a 5-wicket win with Seb Yeates scoring 61. Cooke Collegians were the opponents in the semi-final and teenager Harry Dyer starred with 71 not out in a 6-wicket victory.

Lisburn II cruised to a 6-wicket victory over Victoria who were bowled out for 37. A walk-over in Round 2 when Monaghan forfeited was followed in the quarter-final by a narrow win over the holders Laurelvale in a rain-affected game. Stuart Lightbody's unbeaten half-century was the difference between the sides. In the semi-final at Donaghadee, the home side were dismissed for 64 which was passed for the loss of 2 wickets.

Both sides play their League cricket in NCU Junior League I and in this season's League encounter honours are even with a win apiece. In May the Wallace Park side prevailed by 3 wickets in a low-scoring affair while last month CSNI II took revenge, winning a rain-affected match by 4 wickets.

CSNI II have a distinct advantage in experience with former Irish International Regan West captaining the side and keeping wicket. The 43-year-old Kiwi was capped 10 times for Ireland and also played 27 first-class matches in the green jersey. Others with senior experience are Colin "Pro" Andrews, Corin Goodall and Chris Yeates.

Lisburn II will be led by Gavin McGill with seasoned campaigners Robert Rankin, Stuart Lightbody and Chris Burns as backup.

With the current weather conditions, an intriguing encounter is in store.

Play starts at 11 am on Saturday at Laurelvale CC.

Regan West (capt)
Chris Yeates
Seb Yeates
Matthew Cherry
Connor De Wet
Ollie Dyer
Harry Dyer
Luka Bates
James West
Colin Andrews
Corin Goodall
Lisburn II Team
Gavin McGill ( capt)
Robert Rankin
Cyril Varghese
Richard Booth
Nathan Cartmill
Stuart Lightbody
Richard Simpson
Chris Burns
Richard McConkey
Eddie Kyle
Graham Elliott

Junior Cup Match Summaries

Follow the game live on NVPlay: NV-Play GMcG Junior Cup Final