Northern Knights win would take title joust to wire
Northern Knights will never have a better chance to beat the all-conquering Leinster Lightning team than in tonight's Twenty20 inter-provincial at Comber (5pm).
While only Graham McCarter is missing from the Knights line-up for the game - although the all-rounder hopes to play for Civil Service North this weekend - Lightning will be without captain John Anderson, the injured Sean Terry and Kevin O'Brien.
Anderson has still not been given the go-ahead to play, after being struck on the head in the first one-day international against Afghanistan last week, while O'Brien is on county duty with Leicestershire.
It is still a formidable line-up, which will retain the trophy with a victory, with seven internationals, although Kenny Carroll's last was in 2007.
The NCU side includes Instonians' Rusty Theron as the only overseas player, while club-mate Robert McKinley is recalled following an impressive four-wicket spell last Saturday against Challenge Cup finalists Civil Service North.
An NCU win would give them the chance of pipping Lightning to the title with victory over the North West Warriors in the final match of the tournament at Strabane in two weeks' time.
It's a busy weekend for the NCU's Premiership sides with six of them playing double headers.
Leaders Waringstown face CIYMS and, on Sunday, second placed Instonians. Back to back wins for the champions and, already, the rest of the teams could be playing for second place.
Also on Sunday there is a cup final dress rehearsal just five days before the big event with CSN hosting CIYMS.
FIXTURES: Tonight (5pm): Twenty20 inter-pro: Northern Knights v Leinster Lightning (Comber)
Tomorrow (11am): Ulster Bank Premier League: CIYMS v Waringstown, Civil Service North v Carrickfergus, Derriaghy v Instonians, North Down v Lisburn. Sunday: Carrickfergus v Derriaghy, Civil Service North v CIYMS, Waringstown v Instonians
Section One: Academy v Bangor, Downpatrick v Donaghcloney, Lurgan v Armagh, Muckamore v Saintfield, Woodvale v Ballymena. Sunday: Muckamore v Lurgan
Section Two: BISC v Cliftonville, Cooke Collegians v Templepatrick, Holywood v Dundrum, Millpark v Laurelvale. Sunday: BISC v Millpark, Cooke Collegians v Cregagh, Templepatrick v Cliftonville
Section Three: Ards v Dunmurry, Dungannon v Donaghadee, Newforge v Monaghan, Victoria v Larne
Long's SuperValu Premiership (Noon): Bready v Donemana, Brigade v Strabane, Coleraine v Drummond, Eglinton v Ardmore. Sunday: Donemana v Ardmore
Championship: Glendermott v Bonds Glen. Sunday: Newbuildings v Glendermott.
Sam Jeffrey semi-finals: Fox Lodge v Newbuildings, St Johnston v Ballyspallen
Sunday: North West T20 Finals Day: Ballyspallen v Killyclooney (noon), Brigade v Eglinton (4pm).