Sports

Final day wash-out for Warriors at Eglinton

Thursday, 8 June 2017

Final day wash-out for Warriors at Eglinton thumbnailThe North West Warriors side who took on Northern Knights in Hanley Inter-Provincial Championship. (Pictures from Cricket Europe)

THE North West Warriors were left kicking their heels in frustration as last Thursday's third and final day's play in their Hanley Inter-Provincial Championship was washed out without a ball bowled.

Needing 77 runs to win and with 8 wickets in hand, Ian McGregor's charges will have seriously fancied their chances of posting only their second ever win in this format, but it wasn't to be.

Persistent rain throughout the day left on-field umpires Roly Black and Jarlaith McCreadie with little option but to gather the captains together at 3pm to call a halt to proceedings.

Credit the Northern Knights, whose lower order resistance on Wednesday evening was enough to earn a share of the spoils as Ireland's first-ever domestic 1st class game ended in fairly ironic weather. 

The Warriors collect 11 points, while the Knights take 10 from the fixture.

 

Day One

CRAIG YOUNG'S five-wicket haul ensured the North-West Warriors would take slight advantage from day one at Eglinton.

An excellent bowling performance from the home side, allied with a late unbroken fifth-wicket stand between skipper Andy McBrine (29*) and the recalled Niall McDonnell (18*) put the Warriors in the driving seat on a day when the bowlers were firmly on top until the final hour.

It was a historic day for Irish cricket given the elevation in status that the Championship now enjoys and despite a three-hour delay in starting due to the rain, it proved to be a fascinating afternoon befitting the occasion. 

The Warriors made the most of ideal conditions to bowl Simon Johnston's charges out for just 130 first up with Ireland Internationals Craig Young and Stuart Thompson doing most of the damage. 

The visitors' innings lasted less than 38 overs in all with Young particularly impressive as he claimed 5-37 while Thompson chipped in with 3-32 on his home ground.

The Knights' batting effort was all about skipper James Shannon as he single-handedly kept the Warriors' attack at bay; the Instonians batsman hitting 8 fours and 2 sixes in his valiant 71. 

James McCollum's 11 was next best after that, giving an indication of the bowling side's dominance and Shannon's resilience in those early exchanges.

To be fair, McBrine's team also found the going tough at the start of their reply- Nathan Smith picking up a couple of early wickets as the Warriors struggled to 43-4 before that late rally from the skipper and McDonnell. 

The latter, now assistant coach to Ian McGregor, had only been drafted into the squad late last night after it became apparent that Johnny Thompson would still be sidelined by his hamstring injury.

Resuming just 41 behind and with six wickets in hand the not-out batsmen, and indeed the rest of the order, will now have a chance in the morning to give the home side a meaningful lead, although you would expect the Knights to come out fired-up knowing the importance of the morning session.

 

Day Two

David Scanlon's five-wicket haul left the North-West Warriors requiring 77 runs to win with 8 wickets in hand in what was another action packed day on Wednesday, which saw 18 wickets fall as the ball continued to dominate the bat. 

Resuming on 89 for 4, any thoughts that Andy McBrine's team would build an unassailable lead however were soon quashed as the Instonians bowling triumvirate of the Smiths- Nathan (4-34) and Nikolai (2-35), along with Shane Getkate (2-35) helped the NCU outfit fight back in the morning session.

The hosts lost both overnight batsmen, McBrine and Niall McDonnell early with each making 30, and then watched on as Ricky-Lee Dougherty and Aaron Gillespie followed them back into the pavilion soon after.

At that point it was far from certain that the Warriors would even have a first innings lead to show for their efforts at 121 for 8, but Ross Allen (24*) and Craig Young (23) remedied that with a stand worth 45 for the 9th wicket.

In the end the Warriors lead was a handy 37, albeit Knights openers Chris Dougherty and Adam Dennison reduced that to 24, as they added 13 in a potentially tricky pre-lunch session.

The 30 minutes post-lunch passage of play could well prove to be the decisive one in the match as Davy Scanlon swung the ball prodigiously to blow away the visitors' top order.

From 13-0 the Knights were suddenly 19-5 and staring down the barrel of a heavy defeat. Credit Greg Thompson (37) and Shane Getkate (35) who combined superbly to get their side back on track with a 75-run stand before Aaron Gillespie (2-12) split them up just as the home side had started to look rattled.

Despite that pair's efforts however James Shannon's men were now 112-8 and still only 75 ahead. Scanlon returned to pick up the wicket of Nathan Smith to complete a superb day's work- his 5-29 matching his Bready club-mate Young's exploits from the previous day, however the Knights were far from done as the last two wickets added an invaluable 49 runs to the cause.

Robert McKinley was the man chiefly responsible as he hit 6 fours in his welcome 43 not out, but the final total was 161 all out meaning the Warriors would need 125 to win for just the second time ever in this format since the Championship began. Ironically their only other victory came at Eglinton and against the Knights.

Despite losing David Rankin early the North West side rallied with overseas men Iroosh Samarasooriya and Imran Butt taking them to a very strong position before Butt missed a full toss from Gary Kidd in the penultimate over to leave the overnight score 48-2.

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