Delaney injury blow for Instonians
Alistair Bushe (News Letter)
CLUBTURF Ulster Cup holders Instonians will start the defence of the trophy against Glendermott today without fast bowler Mick Delaney.
The Australian paceman, who has been the most talked about seamer to play in the local game for many years, sustained a shoulder injury during last week’s NCU Premier League win over Lisburn at Shaw’s Bridge.
Delaney had already taken three early wickets when he landed awkwardly attempting to field the ball off his own bowling. He was unable to finish his over and it is understood he was taken to hospital later that night.
Delaney, who has taken nine wickets in his first month in NCU cricket and regularly bowled in excess of 80mph, has been left out as a precaution with Instonians hoping to have an MRI scan carried out in the next week to ascertain the full extent of any damage.
He may also not be risked in a rearranged league game against Carrickfergus next Saturday with Instonians prioritising the following week’s Challenge Cup quarter-final against a dangerous Civil Service North side. Sam Shannon will take the new ball with captain Eugene Moleon.
Lisburn meanwhile have their own injury concerns over Zimbabwean Nathan Waller. The giant all-rounder has been unable to bowl in the club’s last two matches because of a foot injury, and was in discomfort when batting in midweek against Waringstown.
However, it’s understood that an X-ray taken on Tuesday night showed no broken bones and the problem should not be anything more serious than a bruised foot.
Waller trained on Thursday night at Wallace Park and will play against Donemana at The Holm today. However, Lisburn captain David Simpson confirmed he will again not bowl as a precaution.
Today's tie of the round is at Comber, where North Down, last year's beaten finalists, host Limavady. The Roesders will travel to The Green without Stuart Thompson, the Ireland A all-rounder. One of the heroes of Ireland A's midweek win over Gloucestershire IIs, Thompson doesn't arrive back in Northern Ireland until this afternoon and is available for the north v south game at Cork tomorrow.
Limavady captain Andrew Riddles is confident about his side's chances, even without Thompson who continues to attract strong interest from George Dockrell's county Somerset.
Riddles said: "We won down there in the All-Ireland a few years ago and although they beat us at our place last year, the games between us are always nip and tuck.
"The lads are playing good cricket. Zeeshan Malik, the professional, has come in and done well. He is a much-improved player from the last time he was with us and he has definitely added to our batting line-up."
North Down, unbeaten in all but Twenty20 cricket, give a home debut to new professional Gayan Wijekoon.
Another absentee today is Jonathan Bushe, the Waringstown wicketkeeper. The former Ireland international is nursing a finger injury and misses the home tie with Bready but should return to the villagers’ starting line-up for next weekend’s Irish Cup tie at Brigade.
CIYMS will attempt to end their three-game losing streak against in-form Coleraine at Belmont without Jeremy Bray, who has pulled a hamstring. Fox Lodge host Civil Service North, one of the NCU's form sides, while Brigade entertain Carrickfergus in a repeat of the recent Irish Cup tie won by the North West club at Beechgrove.