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Battle of the underdogs in Clear Currency All-Ireland T20 Cup Men’s Final

©Cricket Ireland
 

On paper it looked like the unlikeliest of finalist combinations, but this Sunday Cork Harlequins and Brigade Cricket Club – both considered two underdogs in their respective semi-finals - will battle out the final of the men’s Clear Currency All Ireland T20 Cup.

However, neither side made the final on luck with both sides outclassing their more-fancied opponents in dramatic final-over run-chases.

In the first semi-final, Harlequins faced the might of Merrion Cricket Club at Anglesea Road in Dublin – and after Merrion set a competitive 154 to win after batting first, the Cork side successfully chased down the target with Senan Jones hitting a six from the last ball. This will be Cork Harlequins first-ever appearance in an all-Ireland club cup final.

In the second semi-final, the north-west based Brigade chased down 145 to beat the star-studded Carrickfergus at Carrickfergus’ home ground, scoring 39 off the final 20 balls to make it through to their first all-Ireland club cup final since 1999.

The final will be played at Leinster Cricket Club, Rathmines on Sunday 22 August 2021, starting at 2pm.

The winner of this Clear Currency All-Ireland T20 Cup competition will be Ireland’s representative team at the 2022 European Cricket League.

THE TEAMS

Cork Harlequins

Cork Harlequins was formed in 1967 and currently play in the Munster Cricket Union Premier Division - this will be their first ever appearance in an all-Ireland club cup final in any format of the game. Harlequins' senior team have won the MCU Premier league twice in the last ten years and were runners up in 2018.

Match Day squad: Matt Brewster (c), Brandon Kruger, Murtaza Sidiqi, Shivam Kislay, Jack Buss, Mubeen Ali, Zubair Hassan Khan, Senan Jones, Joe Hourihane, Adam Hickey, Luke O'Reilly, Dhawan Mehta.

Brigade

Brigade Cricket Club was founded in 1909 and originally known as Church Lads Brigade (the club adopted its current name - Brigade Cricket Club - in 1923). The club's first ground was originally at the Brandywell – at the location where Derry FC play today, but moved to their current home ground at Beechgrove in 1921 – this year is the centenary year at their home ground. Currently playing in the Northwest Senior League 1, they are regular challengers for regional silverware in all competitions, having won fifteen Senior League Titles, twelve-time Senior Cup Winners, four-time Ulster Cup winners, and - most notably - two Irish Senior Cups in 1996 and 1999.

Possible XI: Andy Britton (c), David Barr, David Murdock, Adam McDaid, Kyle Magee, Ifti Hussain, Ross Allen, Ryan Macbeth, Simon Olphert, Ryan Barr, Nick Donnell.

EXPECTED CONDITIONS

With plenty of rain around in the lead-up, conditions on match day are expected to be cool, overcast, but – with some luck – dry. Expect the outfield to be heavy, but with both sides full of big hitters, boundaries may still be plentiful.

ATTENDANCE AND LIVESTREAM

Only ticket holders will be permitted entry to the ground on match day, with only 200 spectators permitted due to COVID-19 regulations. Tickets are free, and can be reserved online now.

For those not attending the match, a multi-camera livestream will be operating and fans can watch through the Cricket Ireland Live Youtube channel.

Livescoring will be available on the Cricket Ireland Match Centre.

PREVIOUS CUP WINNERS

2020: YMCA Cricket Club
2019: CIYMS Cricket Club
2018: Waringstown Cricket Club
2017: Clontarf Cricket Club

WOMEN’S CLEAR CURRENCY ALL-IRELAND T20 CUP

The first-ever women’s All-Ireland T20 Cup will be held in 2021 – the final is set for 11 September 2021 at Bready CC.