Derriaghy looking to take it to Rush in the Arachas National Cup semi-final

July 7th 2023 by Gerard Mulreaney | International, Other

Derriaghy looking to take it to Rush in the Arachas National Cup semi-final

Derriaghy CC 1st XI

Derriaghy will go into Sunday’s Arachas National Cup semi-final against Rush at Queensway as underdogs - but that tag won’t worry them, as they have their eyes firmly fixed on reaching the final and erasing the heartbreak of the 2013 final defeat.

In that final Derriaghy came up against a Fintan McAllistair inspired Malahide team. McAllistair scoring 163* off 173 balls as Malahide posted 284-3. In reply Derriaghy tried hard, and had a century of their own from Yogesh Takawale, however they were eventually bowled out for 233, going on to lose by 51 runs.

In 2023 Derriaghy have navigated their way past Ballyhaunis, Burndennett, and Limerick to reach the semi-finals. They’ve had big scores from Jamie Magowan (144) and Patrick Kruger (182), they relied on a half-century partnership from Sam Gordon and Matthew Halliday in the quarter-final victory over Limerick. Wayne Hughes has been superb with the ball, taking 7-86 in those three matches.

Their opponents Rush have an excellent pedigree in the National Cup - having won it three times, most recently in 2018 – and will be looking to reach the final and claim a fourth victory in the competition.

Rush have probably had the more difficult route to the semi-finals, beating Strabane, 2022 winners North County, and St Johnston along the way.

They’ve put up big scores throughout the competition, with Neil Rock, Llew Johnson, Jack McGee and Nathan Maguire putting up the bulk of those. In their opening round clash with Strabane Rock and Johnson combined for a 231-run opening partnership as they posted 415-9. Their bowlers Asher Abassi (6-41) Jared Barnes (5-63) Cian Egerton (5-12) have also been very impressive.

Derriaghy club secretary, and captain of the 2013 side, Matthew Jennings, says the club are buzzing for the game:

“It’s a huge challenge. There’s a reason they’ve been made favourites for the Arachas National cup, and in Neil Rock they have the best player in the tournament. But we’re buzzing for the game and as underdogs we’ve nothing to lose, so we’ll give it all we’ve got!”

The clubs form this year in the league has been a bit disappointing - however they recently beat Waringstown, who are into the semi-final of the Irish Senior Cup - so this weekend’s game is a game where the club can put their indifferent league form behind them and just give it go:

“While our form has been disappointing on the face of it, we believe we’re playing quite well. We’ve given every team we’ve played this year, bar one or two, a real game. And with a bit more nous and experience, we’d have more than a solitary win under our belt. But yeah, we can really park that all come Sunday and play without any pressure, and we know we do have a performance in us.

“Our club legend, Craig Lewis, is still opening the bowling down the Aghy hill some 20 years after his debut as a teenager. He epitomises everything the club stands for, and his loyalty throughout the years has been unbelievable. He really is the man you think of when you think of Derriaghy. Similarly, our spinner Wayne Hughes has been a mainstay for over 15 years, having been a regular since he was a 15 year-old kid. Despite playing half his games at our small ground, he always excels, and he too epitomises our great wee club.”

On the back of a hugely successful 2022 season – where they won the Section One title and the T20 Trophy, along with reaching the Challenge Cup semi-final and National Cup quarter-final – the club is on the up. They have four senior teams, along with youth teams from Under-11s to Under 15s, with over 100 playing members, and 120 in their booming social section. That taste of success is something they’re hoping will continue in 2023:

“Last season gave us a real taste for success, so it would be incredible to continue on in the same vein, especially when you consider that we only had consolidating our place in the Premier League on our mind back in April. Our club really does have the best supporters going, and any National Cup success would be for them.”

This weekend’s game against Rush brings back some fond memories for Jennings of previous Cup clashes between the sides:

“We’ve actually had two legendary bus trips to this weekend’s opponents, Rush, in recent years. We were so well looked after that our supporters struck a real rapport with the Rush faithful. We’re really look forward to returning the favour this weekend. On the pitch our victory over Donemana in the Irish Senior Cup in 2016 – when they were victorious by ten runs - went down in Aghy folklore!”

Their overseas professional, South African Patrick Kruger, came to the club this year, and according to Jennings has brought serious professionalism:

“The professionalism he’s brought has really lifted our standards. He has a great work ethic and that rubs off on everyone at the club. On the pitch he gives everything in the field, and with the ball, and we’ve seen on a few occasions just how destructive he can be with the bat.”

It’s all set for a very intriguing game this Sunday.





Arachas Irish Senior Cup – Semi-Finals

  • Leinster v The Hills
  • Waringstown v Pembroke

Matches are due to get underway at 12.30pm.
Home teams listed first.

Arachas National Cup semi-finals

  • Derriaghy v Rush
  • Muckamore v Cliftonville Academy

Matches are due to get underway at 1.30pm.
Home teams listed first.


Watch a preview


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