Stu's weekend predictions
Stu Daultrey (CricketEurope)
This coming weekend sees the second rounds of the Bob Kerr Irish Senior Cup and the National Cup. There are eight LCU teams in the last sixteen, six of them drawn at home, and the two drawn away travel to another LCU team. The first local clash is at Malahide, where The Hills are the visitors. The Village has won only cup matches, whereas the Wilburys have four wins, a no result and last week's Leinster Senior Cup loss to Pembroke.
I was impressed with the way The Hills disposed of North Down at The Vineyard, and I expect the holders of the Bob Kerr to be in the quarter final draw. The other local clash sees Merrion travelling two miles across Dublin 4 to play YMCA. The home team had a superb chase last Saturday to score 328-2, but the Merrion bowling is an awful lot better than that of Phoenix. Merrion are my tip to go through.
Clontarf host Strabane, and their batting should be too strong for the Co. Tyrone outfit. Leinster welcome Muckamore, and should find the Co. Antrim side too strong for them. North County entertain Bready at Inch, a difficult one to call. If County's senior players (essentially, the top five) do the business, they can guide their youngsters through, but I won't be surprised if they don't.
In the sixth match, Pembroke take on Ardmore. I don't know anything about their pro, Mutizwa, but I do know all about Decker Curry and Gary Neely, still quality players, to make this a banana skin for the 'Broke. On paper, Pembroke have a far stronger squad than do Ardmore, but cricket isn't played on paper.
In the National Cup there are four surviving LCU teams. I know nothing of Academy, but I see they're top of the second tier of NCU cricket, having lost their first match at Woodvale then won three on the trot. Rush have the experience and home advantage, but they don't have their brightest prospect, away in England.
A hundred years ago I used to drink with Mick Ramsey in the UCD bar, and I believe he's a leading light of the Co. Kerry club. I'll put one behind the bar for you, Ramo, but I think your boys will lose to the powerful Dundrum batting.
Cliftonville beat Balbriggan in the first round, admittedly at home, and I don't think they will have too much to worry about in their trip to Greystones. Finally, I think Laois will have enough to see off Holywood by the M7 just outside Portlaoise.