Ardmore are in pole position to win the first Premiership title in their 144-year history going into the final weekend of the North West season.

It’s been a catalogue of near misses through the generations, but 24 points from their final two games – away at Donemana today (SAT) and home to Fox Lodge tomorrow – will be enough to spark celebrations at the Bleachgreen.

The Brolly name has been synonymous with Ardmore for more than a century and top-order batter Ryan, and his elder brother Conor are the latest in that production line.

If the pressure does get too much for the squad, there are few better placed to help them than Ryan, a recently qualified doctor based in the Intensive Care Unit at Craigavon Hospital! Hopefully his professional skills won’t be needed over the weekend, and the 25 year-old insists his team are in good form ahead of the crunch matches.

“The mood in the camp is quietly optimistic,” said Brolly. “We are all obviously aware that it’s a massive opportunity for the club, but we don’t want to get ahead of ourselves. 

"There are still two very difficult games ahead. It’s always extremely tough to beat Donemana up there and Fox Lodge could potentially be playing for a Premiership place.

“With all that being said, we back ourselves against anyone on our day and will look to get the job done this weekend. Team wise, Aviwe, our professional has gone home which is obviously a big loss, but other than that we will have a full panel to choose from.”

It will be interesting to see how Ardmore react to the pressure of the situation, having been in Brigade’s slipstream for most of the campaign, only hitting the top after the Beechgrove side stumbled in their last two matches, losing by one and two runs versus Newbuildings and St Johnston. A maximum point win for Brigade at home to Killyclooney could make it interesting.

Elsewhere, Coleraine go to St Johnston needing a win to secure their Premiership place, while Newbuildings and Eglinton meet needing two points to be mathematically certain of a top flight berth.


NW Premiership (Sat 12pm)

Brigade v Killyclooney

Donemana v Ardmore

Newbuildings v Eglinton

St Johnston v Coleraine

Ardmore v Fox Lodge (Sun 12pm).