Arachas Irish Senior Cup and Arachas National Cup 2023 - Second Round Preview
The Arachas Irish Senior Cup and Arachas National Cup second round gets underway this weekend with 16 matches down for decision across both competitions. The second round features first-round winners plus clubs who received byes in the first round.
With quarter-final places up for grabs, the action is sure to be frenetic as clubs try to take another giant step towards cup glory.
Arachas Irish Senior Cup
The tie of the round in the Arachas Irish Senior Cup is undoubtedly the game between six-time champions Waringstown and 2013 winners Clontarf at The Lawn. Waringstown, who have an unbeaten record so far in the NCU Robinson Services Premier League, were nine-wicket winners over Newbuildings in round one, while Clontarf, who lost out to on a semi-final place in the LHK Alan Murray Cup to eventual winners Balbriggan, received a bye after reaching the semi-finals of the competition in 2022. Clontarf appointed a new head coach during the winter, with former Ireland international Andrew Poynter tasked with improving the side which includes Aaron McGeehan, Ruan Cronje, Robert Frost and captain Eoghan Delany. James Cameron-Dow and Pat Botha have come in to strengthen Waringstown, and it’s seems to be paying off so far. Adam Dennison, Greg Thompson, and Morgan Topping are all playing well at the moment.
Balbriggan - off the back of success in the LHK Alan Murray Cup last weekend - head to Park Avenue to face an all-Leinster clash with Railway Union. Andre Botha’s side have been in superb form since last season, and can boast the likes of Christopher De Freitas, Greg Ford, Conor Fletcher, Farooq Nasr, Dylan Lues and Andrew Darroch in their side. They will be a formidable side to overcome. However, Railway Union have a strong squad of their own, with Brandon Kruger, Liam McCarthy, Fakhar Zaman and Punya Mehra all involved.
2009 Irish Senior Cup winners Leinster will host 2022 winners CIYMS at Observatory Lane. The hosts won a cracking first round encounter against CSNI, coming through by just six runs. They also beat YMCA to move into the second round of the Skellig Six18 Leinster Senior Cup. Joey Carroll, Bilal Azhar, Monil Patel, and Mark Tonge will be crucial for Leinster if they want to depose the reigning champions this weekend.
CIYMS are in cracking form, top of the NCU Robinson Services Premier League, with Ireland international Ross Adair in phenomenal form with the bat, for both club and the Northern Knights. Only last weekend Adair scored 184 off 113 balls as CIYMS beat Dundrum by 302 runs. They can also call upon the likes of Chris Dougherty, John Matchett, Carson McCullough, Tyron Koen, and Adam Coulter.
Adair explains where he feels his game is at right now:
“I’ve been going well so far. Maybe a few technical things I’ve been working on over winter, but nothing has changed mentality wise on my aggressiveness. Not being scared of getting out has really progressed my game. As they say, the biggest barrier to success is the fear of failure. Obviously the two tours away to Zimbabwe and Bangladesh were great for development too and have filled me full of confidence, so I’m really enjoying my cricket at the moment.
On this weekend’s match against Leinster, Adair said:
“I’m really looking forward to getting back into the Irish Cup. It’s a good chance to play against guys you’ve not played against in places you’ve not played before. Leinster look like a good side with some real good players after catching a glimpse of them at Stormont. No doubt it will be a big challenge but certainly one we will be up for.
And can CIYMS repeat last year’s success?
“I don’t see why not. We’d never go into a competition thinking we couldn’t win it. The fact we are defending Irish Senior Cup champions I feel is a bit irrelevant. That was last year, so it’s gone. This is a new season and a new competition, and we’re looking forward to getting stuck in.”
In the weekend’s other fixtures in the Arachas Irish Senior Cup :
- Cork County will host 2019 winners Pembroke at The Mardyke.
- Instonians take on last year’s runner-up Lisburn in an all-NCU clash at Shaw’s Bridge.
- Claremont Road will see another all-Leinster clash as YMCA host Merrion.
- North Down will play Phoenix in Comber.
Arachas National Cup
The tie of the round in the Arachas National Cup will see the holders North County will take on three-time National Cup winners Rush at The Inch. North County brought in 21 year-old Australian allrounder Mitchell Owen during the off-season. The right-arm medium fast bowler and middle-order batter played in the Big Bash earlier this year. The club also signed Ireland international Simi Singh to bolster an already strong line-up. The sides met only last weekend in the LHK Alan Murray Cup, with North County coming out on top by 32 runs. Opener Johnathan Andrews with a century off 60 balls in that game. However, Rush have Neil Rock, who has been on fire with the bat in recent weeks. They also have Nathan Maguire and their overseas professional Llewelyn Johnson, so no doubt it will be a very competitive game.
Navan-based Knockharley will be hoping to pull off a surprise victory over last year’s runners-up Terenure when they host them at Kentstown.
Athlone, surprise winners over Glendermott in the last round face a trip North to take on Cliftonville Academy at the Castle Grounds. A century from Naveenrohith Nijayan saw the Midlanders win by a comfortable five wickets. They will once again rely heavily on Nijayan, along with Awais Khalily, Himanshu Pardeshi, Nikhil Matta, and Vivek Kashyap.
Cliftonville Academy – who haven’t got off to the best of starts in the NCU Robinson Services Premier League - were eight-wicket winners away to UCC, with Max Burton scoring a half-century. They will look to Burton, Francis Collins, Richard Hood, Andrew Forbes and Jared Wilson if they want to reach the quarter-finals.
In the weekend’s other Arachas National Cup fixtures:
- Limerick host Cregagh in Adare.
- Derriaghy face Burndennett at Queensway.
- Civil Service host Kilyclooney in the Phoenix Park.
- Muckamore take on North Kildare in Muckamore.
- Ballyspallen host St Johnston in Limavaddy.
FULL FIXTURE SCHEDULE
IRISH SENIOR CUP
- Instonians v Lisburn
- Railway Union v Balbriggan
- Cork County v Pembroke
- Carrickfergus v The Hills
- Leinster v CIYMS
- YMCA v Merrion
- Waringstown v Clontarf
- North Down v Phoenix
All matches are due to get underway at 12.30pm, on Sunday 4 June.
- Limerick v Cregagh
- Knockharley v Terenure
- Cliftonville Academy v Athlone
- Derriaghy v Burndennett
- Civil Service v Killyclooney
- Muckamore v North Kildare
- North County v Rush
- Ballyspallen v St Johnston
North County v Rush is due to start at 12.00pm, while all other matches are due to get underway at 1.30pm, on Sunday 4 June.