CIYMS will be anxiously waiting for today's Newry & Down Democrat NCU Senior Cup semi-final draw now that they are in the last four for the first time.

With the big guns North Down and Waringstown in the hat, they will be wanting to avoid either which leaves them with Lisburn - itself no easy touch.

But nothing else can be expected in the penultimate stages of any competition and CI, founded in 1878, will be content to enjoy the occasion dreaming of a place in the final.

A charity Sportsman's Dinner at the end of March with speakers Chris Cowdrey and Gerry Armstrong set the tone with over 200 revellers in attendance. This was the start of a full social schedule for players and supporters, which will continue throughout the season.

Captain Stephen Hughes said: "Consolidating the 1st and 2nd XI's in their respective leagues following promotion last season, and regularly turning out a competitive and familiar 3rd XI on the field, is our priority.

"Off the field, we aim to continue in our task of moving CIYMS forward financially and improving the already impressive set up that we have in place.

"This will hopefully attract even more new talent, while moving our youth set up forward in a way that will produce quality players for the future."

The 1st XI is made up of stalwarts such as Allen Sleith, Alan McIlwaine, Richard Lucas, Stephen Hughes, Simon Flanagan and Tony Adams who have been part of the cub for a number of years and will be doing their part to consolidate the team's position in Section II.

If CI draw Lisburn in the cup, it will provide an interesting scenario in that former international and Wallace Park star Derek Heasley is now with CI as is ex-Bangor batsman Johnny Hewitt. Heasley scored 46 in midweek for the MCC in their draw with the Ulster Schools at Osborne Park.

Greg Thompson (52) from Friends' School and Kyle Hamilton (43) from Foyle & Londonderry College were the top scoring Schools' batsmen as the Ulster Schools' XI finished on 161 for 9. Meanwhile, the local action this weekend turns to the Irish Senior Cup which sees teams on the move throughout the country.

First round: Phoenix v Waringstown; Lurgan v Donemana; Railway Union v Ballyspallen; Lisburn v Rush; Downpatrick v YMCA; Clontarf v Brigade; Glendermott v The Hills; Bangor v North County; Bready v Merrion; North Down v Fox Lodge; Carrick v Strabane; Cliftonville v CYM; Limavady v Malahide; Instonians v Pembroke; Ardmore v Civil Service North; Eglinton v Cork County.

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