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NCU Robinson Services Leagues - Weekend League Preview (2nd/3rd June)

Richard White (NCU PRO) &
Wylie McKinty
Robinson Services

Saturday sees a return to Robinson Services League action for the Premier League and Section 1 while Section 2 sees 3 rearranged games on Sunday due to the Junior Cup taking precedence on Saturday.

Robinson Services Premier League
On Saturday the game of the day is at Belmont where second (Instonians) and third (CIYMS) in the Premier League meet. Both teams have players having to cope with playing a lot of cricket in the last 7 days so player fitness and fatigue could play a part in this game.

The current leaders and reigning champions Waringstown have home advantage against winless CSNI. Waringstown are unbeaten in league and cup so far while CSNI will be hoping to carry over the momentum from last week's cup win in to this game. CSNI's opening bat Marc Ellison is currently the NCU's leading batsmen this season, averaging over 80 in all cricket so far this season.

Carrickfergus host Armagh at Middle Road with the home team having to cope with the loss of Pat Botha for the foreseeable future, although they have recently welcomed Jamie Holmes back in to their ranks. After their opening season victory Armagh have lost heavily in their following games and need to turn their performances around quickly.

There is a repeat of Friday night's Twenty 20 Cup match at The Green, Comber, with Muckamore, the visitors. The wickets at Comber produced by Raymond Moreland have been perfect for batting in the last few weeks so a high scoring game could be on the cards.

Saturday Fixtures
Carrickfergus v Armagh, at Middle Road, Carrickfergus
CIYMS v Instonians, at Belmont, Belfast
North Down v Muckamore, at The Green, Comber
Waringstown v CSNI, at The Lawn, Waringstown

Robinson Services League Section 1
In Section 1 at Uprichard Park Laurelvale are the visitors as they take on Bangor. The good weather of late has helped produce batting friendly wickets at the seaside venue with Chris Burns hitting the 1st century of the season in Section 1 last weekend which will incidently gain him a piece of Robinson Services crystal later in the season.

Downpatrick, who have won 3 out of 3, are the visitors to the Factory Ground to take on Donacloney Mill, who have lost 3 out of 3. Downpatrick's bowlers have been the catalyst for their unbeaten run with Ross Boultwood, Mark Yeates and Martin Gartland claiming over 20 wickets between them so far.

Holywood host winless Lurgan at Seapark Oval and morale will be high in the home camp after their giant killing act against Muckamore in the Challenge Cup last Saturday. Paddy Beverland has been in fine form for Holywood having already scored two 50s this season.

The final game on Saturday in Section 1 sees Woodvale host Lisburn at Ballygomartin Road. Woodvale have own their last 2 games while Lisburn have lost 3 in a row in league and cup. Lisburn's top 5 have been short of runs so far this season and have relied on David Simpson (unlucky not to pick up the man of the match award in their Challenge cup match last Saturday) and Mark Berry to recover the innings in previous matches. David Connelly has also been in prolific form for Woodvale and has scored two fifties and averages close to 90 in league and cup this season.

Saturday Fixtures
Bangor v Laurelvale, at Upritchard Park, Bangor
Donacloney Mill v Downpatrick, at the Factory Ground, Donaghcloney
Holywood v Lurgan, at Seapark Oval, Holywood
Woodvale v Lisburn, at Ballygomartin Road, Belfast

Robinson Services League Section 2
Due to the second round of the Junior Cup there are no Saturday fixtures but there are 3 rearranged games scheduled for Sunday.

Belfast SuperKings host Cooke Collegians at City of Belfast Playing Fields. Both teams have one win and one loss so far this season.

At The Meadow unbeaten Donaghadee are the visitors to take on winless Dundrum. Dundrum's spirits would have been lifted after their surprise T20 Shield victory over Saintfield last week.

At Sandy Bay Larne take on Drumaness. Both teams have struggled this season and neither team has a win. Another loss for either team could make the rest of the season a struggle to make it in to the top 8 places at the end of the season.

Sunday Fixtures
Belfast SuperKings v Cooke Collegians (12noon), at City of Belfast Playing Fields, Mallusk
Dundrum v Donaghadee (12noon), at The Meadow, Dundrum
Larne v Drumaness, at Sandy Bay, Larne