18 October 2007

The draw has been made for the opening round of the 2008 Bob Kerr Irish Senior Cup, and as usual there are a number of mouth watering clashes.

Newly promoted Ardmore face a daunting trip to holders North County, while beaten finalists The Hills make the journey North to take on Fox Lodge. Cork Harlequins face the longest trek of all with a difficult tie with NW League winners Brigade.

2006 winners Railway Union will be looking to put the woes of 2007 behind them, but there are easier places to travel than three times winners Limavady. They will have happy memories of their last visit there though, as Roger Whelan smashed 36 not out off just 9 balls to earn his side a 1 wicket win, and a place in the final.

North Down, the last NCU side to win the competition in 1995, travel to 2002 victors Malahide, while 1998 winners Strabane have home advantage over Carrickfergus. Rush will be confident of progressing in their home fixture with Lisburn, while CIYMS make their debut in the Cup with a home tie with 2000 winners Donemana.

Civil Service North take on Leinster at Stormont, while Bangor face a difficult encounter at Leinster double winners Clontarf. Instonians take on last year's surprise package in the NW, Killymallaght, while Bready face Derriaghy at Magheramason.

Glendermott will be glad to have avoided The Hills (the teams have met in the opening round of the competition in the previous 3 years), but face an equally troublesome encounter with an away day trip to Merrion. YMCA host Eglinton, while the final two ties see Waringstown travel to the winners of Phoenix and Pembroke, while newly promoted Cliftonville must wait for the outcome of the CYM v Old Belvedere match.

The opening round games will take place on Saturday May 17th. Once again the games will be played in coloured clothing with a white ball.

The Cricket Committee of the Irish Cricket Union has again recommended that overseas professionals be allowed to play in the 2008 competition, and that Duckworth Lewis be used in order to facilitate a result at the first attempt. These will have to be ratified at a full Executive meeting in December.

Launching the 2008 Bob Kerr Irish Senior Cup, Hope Kerr said, "I am delighted to launch the Bob Kerr Irish Senior Cup for the second year. The Cup was keenly contested last year, and I look forward to the same high standard of cricket this year."
The draw in full is as follows:

Preliminary Round:

  • Phoenix v Pembroke (A)
  • CYM v Old Belvedere (B)

First Round (Saturday May 17)

  • Rush v Lisburn
  • CIYMS v Donemana
  • North County v Ardmore
  • Strabane v Carrickfergus
  • Malahide v North Down
  • CSNI v Leinster
  • Clontarf v Bangor
  • Winner of B v Cliftonville
  • Winner of A v Waringstown
  • Brigade v Cork Harlequins
  • Limavady v Railway Union
  • Merrion v Glendermott
  • Bready v Derriaghy
  • Instonians v Killymallaght
  • YMCA v Eglinton
  • Fox Lodge v The Hills

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