Home sweet home for local teams in the Challenge Cup

Stephen Hanna  of Donaghcloney at the draw for early rounds of the newly-sponsored Northern Cricket Union Arthur J. Gallagher Senior Challenge Cup with Gordon Markey of AJG (left) and the NCU President, Peter McMorran.
Stephen Hanna of Donaghcloney at the draw for early rounds of the newly-sponsored Northern Cricket Union Arthur J. Gallagher Senior Challenge Cup with Gordon Markey of AJG (left) and the NCU President, Peter McMorran.

Stephen Hanna of Donaghcloney at the draw for early rounds of the newly-sponsored Northern Cricket Union Arthur J. Gallagher Senior Challenge Cup with Gordon Markey of AJG (left) and the NCU President, Peter McMorran.

Waringstown will play Ballymena and Lurgan will entertain Lisburn.

Donaghcloney have also landed a home drawsagainst Academy in the preliminary round on April 30 and, if they win, will entertain Derriaghy in the first round on May 14.

The tournament features the eight Premier and 10 Section 1 clubs and the full draw is: Preliminary Round (April 30): Donaghcloney v Academy, Saintfield v Armagh.

First Round (May 14): Civil Service North v Saintfield or Armagh; Muckamore v Instonians; Woodvale v CIYMS; Donaghcloney or Academy v Derriaghy; Waringstown v

Ballymena; Carrick v Bangor; Downpatrick v North Down; Lurgan v Lisburn.

This season’s competition will be the first in a three year sponsorship deal between the NCU and the international insurance brokers Arthur J. Gallagher.

The company says that throughout its evolution from local to international brokers it has always remained a regional service and supporting big events like the NCU Challenge Cup “is a perfect fit.”

The chairman of the NCU, Andy Clement, said the Union was delighted to welcome a new name to local cricket sponsorship.

“It will help to further strengthen Arthur J. Gallagher’s local business commitment - as well as a sport which continues to reach new levels of excellence,” he said.

The company takes over the sponsorship from Ulster Bank which stepped in in recent years until a new sponsor was found and which continues its long support of the four sections of the NCU Senior League.