Knights gear up as clubs fight over an in form Getkate
The Northern Knights begin their preparations for the new season today with two Twenty20 games against the (Scottish) Western Warriors at Shaw's Bridge (11am and 5pm).
It is actually an Emerging Knights squad first into action this morning, with most of the likely squad for their first inter-provincial of the season at the end of May held back until the evening game. A third different line-up will then be in action tomorrow for a 50 overs game (11am) between the teams.
Ireland international Greg Thompson is available only for this evening's game but has been named captain, with Derriaghy's Craig Lewis selected to bat at No.3 ahead of Shane Getkate, who enjoyed an excellent week as captain of the Ireland Wolves team in England.
Getkate is involved in a tug of war between Civil Service North, who are insisting he serve out the remainder of his three-year contract at Stormont, and Instonians, who are hoping to sign him in time for their opening Premier League game against CIYMS on Saturday.
He played for Instonians 10 days ago in a friendly and scored a century, and hit a superb 120 for the Wolves against Gloucestershire II last Friday.
Getkate will captain the Knights' 50 overs side tomorrow, at his prospective home, and will be desperate to stay focused - he averaged 60 with the bat and took five wickets in England - ahead of the Wolves' next games, a 50 overs contest against Bangladesh at Stormont on May 10 and a T20 match against New Zealand the following day in Rathmines, warm-up games for the touring teams ahead of their tri-series with Ireland in Dublin from May 12-24.
The current CSN all-rounder was delighted with his form as the team won the first of the two 50-over games and all three T20s. He said: "The lads improved every day. I was very pleased with my 100. We talked on the first day when we had a few 30s and 40s of batsmen having to kick on so I'm happy and that helped my confidence.
"All we can do is put pressure on the selectors to give us a go. We have to be ruthless as we move forward as a team."
Emerging KNIGHTS (T20, 11am): M Gilmour, G McCarter, A Berry (capt), J Holmes, C Lewis, A Haggan, S Bunting, Nat Smith, J Mitchell, J Magee, M Berry.
Knights (T20, 5pm): M Gilmour, A Dennison, C Lewis, S Getkate, G Thompson (capt.), L Nelson, G McCarter, S Bunting, R McKinley, Nik Smith, G Kidd.
Knights (50 overs, 11am tomorrow): C Dougherty, A Dennison, Nik Smith, A Berry, S Getkate (capt.), L Nelson, G McCarter, R McKinley, S Bunting, G Kidd, P Eaglestone.