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O'Brien is back and ready to ride into battle with Warriors

 

By Ian Callender

NORTH West Warriors will field at least three first-class debutants today when they take on Leinster Lightning in the third game of this year's Inter-provincial Championship at Oakhill (11am), while Niall O'Brien also makes a first appearance in whites for his adopted province.

O'Brien missed the Warriors' first three-day game against the Northern Knights, as did the injured Johnny Thompson, but both travel to Co. Wicklow, along with Steve Lazars, Graham Kennedy and Andrew Austin, the latter one of five Bready players in the 12-man squad.

Aaron Gillespie misses out with injury, along with Ricky-Lee Dougherty and Imran Butt, as the Warriors keep Irosh Samarasooriya as their overseas player.

Lightning are without the injured Kevin O'Brien, but George Dockrell returns after missing the Stormont clash because of exams, and North County paceman Andrew Sheridan has the chance of a first-class debut.

This is the last game before the ICC consider Cricket Ireland's bid for Full Membership and Test status with the verdict, expected to be favourable, to be announced on Thursday.

Some things never change, however, and the third week of June is MCC week, with the famous club, captained this year by Chris McMorran, playing three games in the NCU area, the first against Ulster Schools today at Campbell (11.30am).

Inter-pro teams - Lightning: J Anderson (capt), A Balbirnie, P Chase, G Delany, G Dockrell, E Joyce, M Neville, E Richardson, A Sheridan, S Singh, J Tector, L Tucker.

Warriors: A McBrine (capt), R Allen, A Austin, G Kennedy, S Lazars, N O'Brien, D Rankin, I Samarasooriya, D Scanlon, J Thompson, S Thompson, C Young

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