Lisburn captain: Derriaghy are favourites to win derby

Craig Lewis bowling for Derriaghy against Templepatrick, US1536-511cd  Picture: Cliff Donaldson
Craig Lewis bowling for Derriaghy against Templepatrick, US1536-511cd Picture: Cliff Donaldson

Lisburn and Derriaghy go into this weekend’s big derby with rather unfamiliar tags.

That’s according to Lisburn skipper Adam Berry, who says his side will be the underdogs.

Adam Berry batting for Lisburn against Carrickfergus on Saturday. US2411-524cd

Adam Berry batting for Lisburn against Carrickfergus on Saturday. US2411-524cd

That would make recently promoted Derriaghy the favourites for the game at their own ground on Saturday at 1pm.

It’s a claim they may well contest. It’s only their fourth season in the Premier League, while Lisburn are ever present in the top tier.

Nevertheless, ’Aghy do find themselves above Lisburn in the table.

“We are really looking forward to it. We nearly are the underdogs this time after losing our first game of the season,” said Berry.

“We want to win them all but with it being a derby, there is of course that extra spice and an extra dimension.”

Lisburn lost their first league outing by 44 runs to Waringstown. Derriaghy won their opening day battle by 23 runs over CIYMS and so a win for the Villagers this weekend would put them eight points ahead of their derby rivals.

That’s a huge carrot even at such an early stage of the season.

“It would be pretty good, that’s for sure,” pondered ’Aghy skipper Craig Lewis.

“This is the one we’ve all been looking forward to since the fixtures came out. The 21st May was the date we all had put in our diaries.

“We have a very youthful team so a lot of the guys haven’t experienced the derby before. They can expect a fairly raucous atmosphere, but all in good spirits.”

The last time the sides met was back in 2008, when Derriaghy left Wallace Park with a four wicket victory.

“I played that day and it was fantastic to win it,” reflected Lewis. “There will be some celebrations if we can do it again this weekend.”

In fact, during Aghy’s two year stint in the top tier in 2007 and 2008, they won three of the four derbies.

“We’re feeling confident,” said Lewis this time around. “Anything can happen on the day but we’re in good mood and we’ll go out there hard and aggressive.

“We’re just itching to get back to league action now. That’s all that really matters to us this season. And we can’t wait to get back at our own ground for the first time this season and get a good crowd behind us.

With a big support expected from both teams for the long-awaited derby, the Lisburn captain says win or lose, it marks a bright time for local cricket.

“The sport needs as much publicity as possible,” said Berry.

“There’s a lot of attention on playing figures.

“Cricket Ireland say participation is up but the clubs might paint a different picture, struggling to get teams out.

“To have two teams competing in the Premier League in the same catchment area is brilliant.”

As regards their respective seasons, survival is unquestionably the main aim for Derriaghy.

“All we want is to stay up, or at least show that we are good enough to be there. It’s great to be here again and to be putting our name back up there,” beamed Lewis.

And at Lisburn, the ambitions are only moderately more grand.

“The young guys in the team have another year’s experience so hopefully we can get away from that real battle for survival this season.

“We do have a bit of momentum now after getting a good win over CIYMS in the T20 and then following that up in Lurgan.”

Both teams will be desperate to keep up their winning form this weekend, or even just to get a game.

As ever, the cricket fixture list is very much weather dependent.

Derriaghy are also due to travel to Donemana on Sunday in a rearranged Irish Senior Cup tie.