Gregory McFaul will be the surprise name in the Newbuildings line-up when they face Brigade in the final of the NW Senior Cup final at Eglinton (Friday, 11.00am).

The former Bready and Ireland under-19 bowler spent the winter in Australia and only returned home two weeks ago but, snapped up by Newbuildings, he is pitched straight into the big-match action and could have an important role to play.

“It’s a big opportunity for him to put his mark on the final,” says skipper Gareth McKeegan.

“He has done well for Bready over the years (he took 24 wickets last season as the Magheramason club were pipped to the Premiership title by Newbuildings) and has been playing cricket in Australia so he is not coming in cold.

“He comes in because Johnny Thompson is carrying a shoulder injury and may not be able to bowl his 10 overs so if he breaks down we have Gregory as back-up.”

McFaul joins an attack that has been led by the experienced Trent McKeegan, the captain’s brother, but it is teenager Charlie Downey who is the club’s leading wicket-taker.

“Charlie has definitely come on this season and he taken his chance with both hands, hopefully he can take that into the final, but we have more than capable bowlers who can step up when others are doing so well, like Ross Hunter and Ross Dougherty whose batting has also come on,” said McKeegan.

“He and our professional (South African Hanu Viljoen) have both scored more than 500 runs and Ross is now doing what he does best. Last year he was giving his wicket away, but this time when he gets in, he is kicking on.”

If this final is to have a fairytale finish, it will be for Thompson to be player of the match in a Newbuildings success, as they look to make amends for their defeat in the final last year by Fox Lodge.

“Johnny has said he is retiring at the end of this season so if this is his last final or Senior Cup game hopefully he can entertain the crowd, because when he is entertaining the spectators he is doing well,” said his club captain.

Trying to prevent the fairytale is Andy Britton, the Brigade skipper and a former team mate of McKeegan and Thompson when they were at Beechgrove and since the start of the season Britton has had eyes for only one trophy.

“At the start of the season, winning the Senior Cup was my priority,” said Britton.

“As captain I’ve done it before and to keep doing it is even better. You never get sick of playing in cup finals and the team is playing well together so we have to take it from there.

“I have a few good mates in the Newbuildings side, including Gareth, so it will be good to get one over them although, of course, he will be saying the same.

“They are a team full of match-winners, no doubt, but we only have to worry about ourselves and if we play our best game, be smart and stick to our plans, hopefully it gets us over the line.”

The top three of Davy Barr, Ifti Hussain and Adam McDaid have scored more than 1,400 runs and the bowling attack is the envy of many, but both captains agree, consistency will win the final.

Brigade: A Britton (capt), D Barr, I Hussain, A McDaid, S Macbeth, C Melly, R Barr, R Macbeth, JP Millar, S Olphert, J Wilson, N Donnell.

Newbuildings: G McKeegan (capt), J Dunn, R Dougherty, Ryan Hunter, H Viljoen, J Thompson, M Hanna, C Downey, T McKeegan, Ross Hunter, G McFaul, J McIvor.