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Half-strength Leinster topple Knights to clinch title

By Ian Callender

Published 23/07/2016

Proud skipper: Eddie Richardson
Proud skipper: Eddie Richardson

Leinster Lightning clinched their first title of the season when they retained the Twenty20 trophy with a 24 runs victory over Northern Knights at Comber last night.

Even without internationals John Anderson, Kevin O'Brien and Sean Terry, they had more than enough firepower to ensure that stand-in skipper Eddie Richardson received the trophy last night, before the Knights travel to Strabane for the final game on Friday week.

A total of 137 was probably around par on a slow pitch and outfield, and if there was any doubt that it would be too much for the Knights, the first four overs of the NCU side's reply settled it.

Internationals Richardson, Tyrone Kane and Peter Chase each took a wicket in the first four overs and it should have been five in five when Nikolai Smith played onto his stumps, but although the bail popped out of the groove it bounced back in again.

Smith was unable to take advantage, one of six Knights batsmen to be dismissed in single figures, with skipper James Shannon setting the unfortunate trend, dismissed to the first ball of the innings.

It was Instonians professional Rusty Theron who got the home team into three figures with a whirlwind 50 at the end, from 35 balls with three fours and four sixes - and even that was only because he was dropped twice.

Lightning were in trouble themselves at 65 for six after 11 overs, after Jacob Mulder, on his home ground, took three wickets in his first two overs, but Richardson, on his 26th birthday, hit 24 from 24 balls, George Dockrell, exactly two years his junior, 23 off 14 and Joe Carroll then finished in style with a six off the last ball.

Scores: Leinster Lightning 137-8 (K Carroll 30, E Richardson 27, G Dockrell 23, J Carroll 20; J Mulder 3-22) Northern Knights 113-7 (R Theron 54 not out, L Nelson 31; P Chase 2-13, T Kane 2-16, E Richardson 2-24). Leinster Lightning won by 24 runs.

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