WARINGSTOWN are aiming to become the first Northern Cricket Union club in 16 years to win the Bob Kerr Irish Cup at Comber on Sunday.
The villagers take on Instonians at The Green, looking to add the All-Ireland crown to the NCU Challenge Cup they won earlier this summer.
Kyle McCallan’s men are aiming to lift the trophy for the third time, with the last Waringstown winners of the Irish Cup the famous treble side of 1992 captained by Garfield Harrison.
It promises to be a thrilling match between two evenly-matched sides. Waringstown have won three of the four games between the clubs this season, but McCallan points out that Instonians boast plenty of dangerous cricketers.
“The Irish Cup final is the pinnacle of club cricket in this country and it’s a massive occasion that we are all looking forward to,” he said. “We’ve done brilliantly this season to go all the way and win the NCU Challenge Cup, and we want to add the Irish Cup to that.
“Instonians have proven over recent seasons that they are quality sides. The likes of Andrew White, James Shannon, Rory McCann and their captain Eugene Moleon are all match-winners, but we have plenty of big-match performers in our team. Lee Nelson has had a magnificent season with bat and ball and James Hall has scored runs and taken wickets. I have a lot of confidence in our young side It should be a great final.”
Waringstown are set to make one change to the team that lost to North Down in the NCU Premier League title decider at Comber on Sunday.
Wicketkeeper and former captain Jonathan Bushe, who missed the game because of business commitments, returns to the starting eleven.
The villagers will also continue to monitor the fitness of Ireland under-19 star Josh Hall. The 17-year-old played against Ballymena and North Down last weekend, but struggled throughout with back pain. He is expected to have physio sessions this week and Waringstown will want to make sure he is fit to bowl before naming their final eleven.
Kris Lyness, who was playing third eleven cricket just a matter of weeks ago, continues his meteoric rise by making the starting eleven. The tall fast bowler has impressed since making the breakthrough into the team in late July.
Lyness’ eye-catching displays culminated in a five-wicket haul against Ballymena at The Lawn last Saturday and he bowled with pace against North Down.
Waringstown will also be carefully considering their batting order. Simon Harrison and James Hall opened together twice last weekend, but McCallan will have to decide whether to keep himself down at number five or move back up the order.
The game starts at 11am, and is 50 overs per side. International rules are in place, with batting and bowling power-plays, coloured clothing and free hits for no-balls. Admission is £8 for adults and free for children.
Waringstown probable: Kyle McCallan (captain), James Hall, Lee Nelson, Jonathan Bushe, Simon Harrison, Andrew Cousins, David Dawson, Gary Kidd, Kris Lyness, Keith Morrison, Josh Hall