“To win would be an absolute dream”: All-Ireland Club Cup competitions get underway across Ireland this weekend

The much-anticipated Irish Senior Cup and National Cup all-Ireland club cup competitions kick off this weekend with cricket action underway across 28 grounds across Ireland involving 56 clubs.
Ireland

(Cricket news) The two competitions are the peak club cup competitions in men’s club cricket in Ireland, with hundreds of players travelling thousands of kilometres collectively with the goal of winning a highly sought-after national title. The first rounds of the Irish Senior Cup and National Cup are scheduled for 18 May 2024.

The dates for the Irish Senior Cup and National Cup rounds are:

  • 1st Round: 18 May 2024
  • 2nd Round: 9 June 2024
  • Quarter Finals: 30 June 2024
  • Semi Finals: 14 July 2024
  • ISC Final: 17 August 2024
  • NC Final: 18 August 2024

Livescoring of all matches can be found here.

Details about each competition follow.

IRISH SENIOR CUP 2024

The Irish Senior Cup is the premier All-Ireland Club cricket competition, featuring the leading club sides from across the four main Provincial Unions. The competition is currently played on a 50-over knock-out format, and played between 28 teams.

The prize for winners of the Irish Senior Cup is to see their name engraved on the most coveted prize in club cricket, the Bob Kerr Trophy. Bob Kerr was Chairman of the Irish Cricket Union 2000-02 and president in 2004. He was a retired headmaster and a founder member and long-serving player with North Fermanagh. Bob was a much-loved member of the cricketing community and it was a shock to his many friends and admirers when he died in Jamaica in 2007 just as Ireland’s players qualified for the World Cup Super-Eights.

It was fitting too, as Bob had worked hard to bring Ireland to that place and would have enjoyed the journey they have taken since. President Mary McAleese phoned the Irish party in the Caribbean to offer her sympathies, saying “Bob Kerr was a great champion of Irish cricket”. In his honour, the Irish Senior Cup was renamed the Bob Kerr Trophy and that name will be attached to the prize forevermore.

First-round draw – 2024

  • Railway Union v Cliftonville Academy
  • Malahide v Lisburn
  • Carrickfergus v The Hills
  • Ardmore v North Down
  • Brigade v Woodvale
  • CSNI v Newbuildings
  • Instonians v Eglinton
  • Bready v Phoenix
  • Killyclooney v Clontarf
  • Pembroke v Coleraine
  • Merrion v Donemana
  • Cork County v Balbriggan
  • CIYMS walk over (opponents YMCA have withdrawn from the Cup)
  • Leinster Bye (2023 winner)
  • Waringstown Bye (2023 finalist)
  • Muckamore Bye (Drawn out)

Speaking about the Irish Senior Cup, Ross Durity from Cork County Cricket Club who are celebrating their 150th anniversary this year, said:

“Coming from Cork, I suppose we haven’t had many big wins in the Irish Senior Cup, so I suppose beating Donemana with the sort of player like Andy McBrine in the team is one that sticks out.

“I suppose the Cup’s a bit extra special because you come up against sides that you wouldn’t play year in, year out. So, we’d be used to playing sides in Munster – and also Leinster. But when you come up against sides in the north, it gives you an extra opportunity to play against players that you wouldn’t.

“To win the Bob Kerr Trophy would be an absolute dream. We’ve only gone past the first and second rounds a couple of times in our history. So, to put together a run like that would be absolutely amazing.”

Seb Best from Waringstown Cricket Club said:

“Playing in the Cup, for me it’s very competitive and I love playing it with my friends and teammates. It’s probably one of the highest standards you will play in club cricket in Ireland and it’s very enjoyable.

“For Waringstown there’s a lot of history, we’ve won the Cup six times – I think that might be the most out of any club in Ireland. Unfortunately, I’ve never participated in a win myself, but it’s definitely something I want to do during my playing career.”

Previous clubs to have won the Irish Senior Cup can be found here.

NATIONAL CUP 2024

The National Cup is played between the next tier of club sides who did not qualify for the Irish Senior Cup. The National Cup started in 2012 and is played over a 40-over knock-out format involving teams from all five Provincial Unions.

Last year saw Derriaghy and Cliftonville Academy battle it out in a tense game at Waringstown, with Derriaghy winning by four wickets.

First-round draw – 2024

  • North Kildare v Templepatrick
  • Terenure v Glendermott
  • Sandyford v Midleton
  • Civil Service walk over (opponents City of Armagh have withdrawn from the Cup)
  • Cregagh v North County
  • Ballymena v Fox Lodge
  • Derriaghy Bye (Previous winners)
  • Laurelvale v Ballyhaunis
  • The Nedd v Belfast
  • St Johnston v Wexford Wanderers
  • Burndennett v Rush
  • Bonds Glen v Donacloney Mill
  • County Kerry v Adamstown
  • Cork Harlequins v Strabane
  • Limerick County v Galway
  • University of Galway v Ballyspallen

Speaking about the importance of club cricket, Ajay Hari from Limerick Cricket Club said:

“From the grassroots of the sport that we play, you can see that all the international players from across the world had to play club cricket at the start. From there they moved on to the next level – some ultimately play for their country. Without club cricket, we don’t have any grassroots available, and all levels of the sport suffer.”

Previous clubs to have won the National Cup can be found here.

OTHER CUP COMPETITIONS

Cricket Ireland runs a number of other all-Ireland Cup Competitions which start later in summer:

  • Men’s and Women’s All-Ireland T20 Cup
  • Youth All-Ireland Cups

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