Bready hosts Men T20 Festival this weekend

This weekend, July 14–16, will see the return of top-tier cricket to the North-West as the Rario Inter-Provincial T20 Trophy Festival visits Bready Cricket Club.

(Cricket news) After the first of the three festivals in Cork last month, Northern Knights are currently in first place with a perfect record. Leinster Lightning, who won last season’s championship, have yet to get off the ground, but local team North West Warriors are right behind them in second position after winning two of their first three games.

There will be six matches played over the course of the three days in the T20 tournament, so a lot can happen over the weekend. Batters Shane Getkate and Stephen Doheny will carry the local hopes, and bowlers Trent McKeegan and Cian Robertson will be expected to pick off wickets.

With Ireland’s squad for the ICC T20 World Cup Europe Qualifier named last week, it’s the last chance for fans to see those international players in action ahead of the tournament. Leinster Lightning have a new head coach this week, with Balbriggan’s Andre Botha taking up the reigns from Nigel Jones on an interim basis until the end of the season.

They welcome back all-rounder Simi Singh in the T20 tournament following injury, while David Delany returns from his stint in Australia. 21-year-old New Zealander Riley Mudford is an exciting addition to the squad after his performances for Railway Union this season.

Botha says he can’t wait to get started fot he T20 tournament, “I’m really looking forward to my first T20 tournament in charge. We have some very experienced players back in the fold, along with some exciting and talented youngsters in the squad that are going to get so much knowledge and hopefully learn a lot in the next phase of their cricket careers.”

North West Warriors welcome back Andy McBrine, Graham Hume, and Craig Young to their squad. Warriors head coach Boyd Rankin said, “We’re really looking forward to the festival coming up. We’ve had one festival to date which has gone reasonably well for us, so I feel we’re in a pretty good space leading into this festival. The lads are in pretty good form so hopefully, the weather plays ball. 

I know the forecast doesn’t look great, but hopefully, the weather plays ball and we can get some cricket in over the weekend. And hopefully, we can get a couple more results to go our way in the T20s. It’s always great to play at Bready and hopefully, we can get some good local support there to come and watch the games and back the lads over the three days.”  

Munster Reds have included the hugely talented CIYMS all-rounder Carson McCullough on loan from the Northern Cricket Union (NCU) for the first time. Also in the squad is South African Ryan Joyce – who plays with Cork Harlequins. 

Reds head coach Jeremy Bray is excited by the challenge this week, Like all the teams this week we’re hoping to win, but it’s a struggle to get a settled squad due to the unavailability of contracted and non-contracted players. Our form has been mixed coming into the festival, but I put that down to players coming in and out of the side for various reasons. 

However, it’s a positive in a way, as it gives potential fringe players opportunities to play and show what they can do. It’s great to have Carson McCullough and Ryan Joyce in the squad. Obviously, we have to manage expectations, but I’m really excited to see how they perform at this level given the opportunity.”

Northern Knights have Ireland international Mark Adair back in the T20 tournament, but similar to the other squads they will have to manage some squad rotation. Knights head coach Simon Johnston said, “We found a good formula for playing in The Mardyke and we’re hoping that we can adjust quickly and do the same at Bready which offers its own different challenges. That’s one of the beauties of the festival format is that each ground we play at offers something unique which makes for exciting cricket.

“We’re delighted to have Sparkyback for two of the games over the weekend in the T20. We’ll also be rotating Matthew Foster and Tom Mayes over the three days, as they were playing in the academy 2-day game at Oak Hill during the week, so we have to keep an eye on their workloads (they’ll both play two games each). “Hopefully the weather plays ball and the squad can back up what they did in cork.”

SQUADS for th T20 Tournament:

North West Warriors

Andy McBrine (capt)*, Stephen Doheny (wk), Liam Doheny, Shane Getkate, Graham Hume**, Scott Macbeth, Ryan Macbeth, Trent McKeegan, Cameron Melly, Robbie Miller, Cian Robertson, Gavin Roulston, Jared Wilson, Craig Young, Harry Zimmermann.

Munster Reds

PJ Moor (capt), Tyrone Kane, Murray Commins, Matt Ford, Nathan McGuire, Mike Frost, Ali Frost, Joshua Manley, Ryan Joyce, Matt Welldon, Cian Egerton, Carson McCollough, Curtis Campher, Ben White.

Northern Knights

Mark Adair, Ross Adair, Ruhan Pretorius, Cade Carmichael, Morgan Topping, Jason van der Merve, Neil Rock, Tyron Koen, Tom Mayes, Matthew Foster, Matthew Humphreys, Theo van Woerkom, John Matchett. 

Leinster Lightning

Simi Singh, Tim Tector, Seamus Lynch, Riley Mudford, Sam Harbinson, Mark Donegan, Lorcan Tucker, Harry Tector, Fionn Hand, Joey Carroll, Gavin Hoey, Mikey O’Reilly, Reuben Wilson, Barry McCarthy, David Delany

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