Balbriggan vs Co Galway
Balbriggan will be looking to get back to winning ways after suffering a tight one wicket defeat to Railway Union last weekend. Co Galway came out on the losing side against Terenure, but it was a performance full of promise and one that they can take forward for the rest of the competition.
Balbriggan only posted a score in the 190s against Railway and that was thanks mainly to a fantastic 71 from Connor Fletcher and 41 from Farooq Nasr. Their middle order failed to fire, which is unusual given the quality of it and left them perhaps a slight bit below par. It was a spirited effort with the ball in hand, with four wickets for Dylan Lues leading the way. However, it left them just short as Railway got the job done with 1 wicket in hand.
Galway lost out to Terenure last weekend but looked to be in the game for large portions of that game after posting 181-8 from their 50 overs. There were some good late runs from Mitch Galav with 40* alongside 36 from Ramnathpur.
The bowling had them in with a great chance throughout the early stages of the reply, with Iliff Summit taking 2-27 from his 10 overs, before Terenure got away from them.
Co Galway come into this game as clear underdogs, but will be attempting to get their first win on the board in this championship with a surprise win.
KEY BATTLE: Iliff Sumit vs Connor Fletcher
Rush vs North County
Rush got back to winning ways last week with a comfortable victory over Cork County in Kenure. It was inspired by the returning figure of Daniel Coffey, who took 6-23 from his 8 overs and was the main man responsible for Rush keeping Cork County to just 133 all out.
On their home ground, Rush would have always backed themselves to chase these runs down and did so in decisive manner, getting to the target in just the 14th over of the run chase. Nathan McGuire led the way with 38 with the bat, but it was a swashbuckling 56* from just 21 deliveries from Neil Rock that brought the game to a finish in abrupt manner.
North County on the other hand would have been disappointed with a big defeat to North Kildare on their home soil last weekend. Having been in the field first, North County wouldn’t have been too unhappy at the halfway stage. However, a big collapse led them to just 77 all out and well short of their target.
The North County batting has been inconsistent so far this season and they will be hoping that Niall McGovern and Andrew Sheridan, who have opened the batting to good effect before, can lead them to a good start on the weekend - and the rest of the batting can follow from there.
Rush go into this game as favourites and with the home advantage, yet North County have the ability to play excellent cricket and if their batting woes are solved, will be very competitive.
KEY BATTLE: Allan Eastwood vs Niall McGovern
Cork County vs Terenure
Cork County will be looking to bounce back after a day to forget in Kenure last weekend against Rush. On a typically sound surface in Rush, they were only able to muster 133 all out. There were runs for Benjamin Marris at number 3 and in truth, they are reliant on the runs he scores alongside those from Ross Durity and Rudolph Pollard.
Their bowlers didn’t have much to work with last weekend but toiled away with honest effect. There were two wickets for Harvey Wootten, who is becoming more and more influential in this Cork attack and they will be hoping for more of the same from him in the coming weeks.
Terenure have been excellent so far this season and are now 3 from 3 in this competition after two wins last weekend. They registered a convincing win against Co Galway before prevailing against Railway Union in a thrilling low scoring encounter at Park Avenue. There was an unbeaten hundred from Seamus Lynch against Galway, and the young player who has played a few times for the Munster Reds, continues to be invaluable with the bat for Terenure.
Against Railway, it was the bowling effort that showed itself off to be the game winners, with a brilliant opening spell from Mark Thomas yielding four wickets and there were also crucial wickets from Bhavic Tukrel. He is now becoming a mainstay in this Terenure side and his runs and wickets are becoming more and more important.
Terenure come into this game as clear favourites as they look to extend their 100% record in this league, but Cork County are always useful opponents on their home ground.
KEY BATTLE: Rudolph Pollard vs Mark Thomas
Railway Union vs North Kildare
The last game from this week’s Buakit Championship comes from Park Avenue where Railway face North Kildare.
Railway had an up and down weekend last week, as they would have been delighted with their win away to Balbriggan last Saturday before a disappointing defeat to Terenure. They would have been equally disappointed by the fact that they couldn’t chase down 104 in that game, and will be looking to get back on the winning thread.
It was another excellent performance with the ball against Terenure, and there were wickets for McCarthy, Perry and Kamal. However, all bowlers used by Railway so far this year have looked dangerous. Added to this is the return of Kevin O’Brien, who will add plenty to the Railway middle order.
North Kildare have been the revelations of the competition thus far, and pulled off a superb win against North County away from home last weekend. That was thanks mainly to a deadly opening spell from Muzamil Sherzad, who took 6-24 with the ball and has put himself in the box seat for a Irish u19 call up for their upcoming Qualifiers in La Manga.
There were also runs from Monil Patel and Waqar Azmat, who have both been impressive since joining in the close season and have added a lot to the team in recent weeks. The North Kildare side is now looking like a very impressive outfit and has to be taken very seriously in this division.
This should be an exciting game between two very good sides and will be very interesting to see who comes out on top.
KEY BATTLE: Prabhanshu Kamal vs Monil Patel