It will be a busy weekend at Strabane Park upcoming as a protracted final phase of the North West cricket season finally draws to a close on Sunday with a second try at the promotion/relegation play-off.
At least we now know the combatants after Bready overcame Glendermott at Magheramason last Saturday in the final fixture of this season’s Premier Division while St Johnston came from nowhere to beat Drummond in the Championship second place play-off.
Bready’s win relegated the Rectory side automatically but David Scanlon’s men still have a difficult hurdle to overcome after a never-say-die performance from the Saints saw them chase down Drummond’s 290-run target.
Craig Young may well be available to the Magheramason outfit on Sunday which would go some way to compensating for the absence of professional Romano Ramoo however skipper Scanlon remains confident that his team can now go on and complete the job.
Speaking ahead of the clash the Bready bowler said that the Saints would warrant full respect however his men would be hard to beat if they played to their potential.
“We saw at the weekend that St Johnston can’t be taken lightly but all things considered I feel we are very much the favourites from here. Craig Young and Robert Spence could both be available on Sunday so I expect to be at full strength for the game. We played well against Glendermott on Saturday and I felt we won comfortably so the same again will do just fine,” he said.
“The boys know what is at stake and they are ready for it. We want to keep our place in the Premier Division and that will be the only focus this weekend. It has been a difficult league season with key players missing at important times for us but we have a chance to put things right now. Strabane Park will suit our style of play and everybody is looking forward to the match and to hopefully getting the job done”.
The North West Union is currently in discussion with both Bready and St Johnston about starting the game at 11 am given the lateness in the season. Both clubs will be keen to play as much cricket as is possible out of the 50-over per side contest therefore an early start looks by far the best option.
If still not decided by this weekend it is believed that the match will carry forward one final time with both the following Saturday and Sunday then available.
Most though will have fingers crossed that it doesn’t come to that.