The year hasn’t even turned but already attentions are moving on to the 2016 cricket season.
Donaghcloney will have an early start to their Northern Cricket Union Arthur J. Gallagher Senior Challenge Cup campaign.
They were drawn in the preliminary round, to be played on April 30th, when they will host Academy.
If they can see off their fellow Section One side, they will win the right to play at home to newly promoted Premier team Derriaghy in round one. That game would take place on 14th May, weather permitting of course.
The full draw for the newly sponsored competition is as follows:
Preliminary Round (April 30th)
Donaghcloney v Academy
Saintfield v Armagh
First Round (May 14)
Civil Service North v Saintfield or Armagh
Muckamore v Instonians;
Woodvale v CIYMS
Donaghcloney or Academy v Derriaghy
Carrick v Bangor
Downpatrick v North Down
Lurgan v Lisburn
This season’s competition will be the first in a three year sponsorship deal between the NCU and the international insurance brokers Arthur J Gallagher. The company says that throughout its evolution from local to international brokers, it has always remained a regional service and supporting big events like the NCU Challenge Cup “is a perfect fit.”
The chairman of the NCU, Andy Clement, said the Union was delighted to welcome a new name to local cricket sponsorship:
“It will help to further strengthen Arthur J. Gallagher’s local business commitment - as well as a sport which continues to reach new levels of excellence.”
The company takes over the sponsorship from Ulster Bank which stepped in in recent years until a new sponsor was found and which continues its long support of the four sections of the NCU Senior League.
Meanwhile, Donaghcloney Seconds have been drawn away to Instonians Thirds in the first round of the NCU Intermediate Cup.