High-stakes weekend as ’Vale prepare for league and cup tests

David Sinton.
David Sinton.

David Sinton’s pre-match teamtalk before the Junior Cup semi-final trip to Armagh was based on the hypothetical.

Touchpoints included the importance of getting off to a good start, the importance of grabbing control of the early stages and the importance of standing firm in the face of Armagh’s hostile home advantage.

Weather eventually prevented the tie from playing out on Saturday but both sides will return to derby commitments this weekend.

However, when Laurelvale captain Sinton steps forward on Sunday for his teamtalk he can move beyond the hypothetical and call on past experience.

Five overs of cricket played out before the weather last weekend forced the postponement of play. Those overs may count for little on the official scoreboard but can add a touch of reality to SInton’s motivation.

“It is about using every possible advantage and we should take some confidence from those five overs,” said Sinton. “They will prove to the players we can start off in the right way against Armagh when the stakes are high and we have to play away from home.

“We got early wickets last weekend in Armagh and will want to repeat that performance level when the game gets going again on Sunday.

“Hopefully it can send the right message but we accept it starts all over again this weekend.”

Laurelvale’s schedule will feature Section Two play tomorrow (Saturday) before the focus can turn to the Junior Cup.

“We will have to juggle players around due to other commitments, especially when it comes to Sunday,” said Sinton. “We also have the seconds and thirds out and, of course, need to always protect the interests of the club as a whole.

“However, everyone is excited at the chance to reach a Junior Cup final and also continue our strong run in the league.

“We have Cregagh away in the league then the cup tie so it is going to be a big weekend but exciting.”