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Shannon determined to build on his red-hot form

 

By Ian Callender

James Shannon scored his first century for the Northern Knights on Wednesday to save their Inter-provincial Championship game against holders Leinster Lightning, but he rated his 71 against the North West Warriors last week as the better innings.

"The conditions at Eglinton were more difficult," he said. "It was a different game scenario at Stormont but we do have a long batting line-up with (Graeme) McCarter coming in at eight, and we put on a big partnership, so I was never overly concerned. The wicket wasn't doing as much but while their spinners bowled well they didn't get enough out of the wicket to be overly troubling."

There is only one day's rest for the majority of players who are straight back into action tonight when the teams meet again in the Twenty20 trophy at Anglesea Road (5pm) and then an immediate return north for a double header of Premier League and Irish Cup action.

That is Shannon's biggest worry as his club, Instonians, prepare to face Lisburn tomorrow and Brigade on Sunday as the defending league champions provided four members of the Knights' pace bowling attack.

"No game is easy and we played Lisburn in a T20 last week and were a handful in Wallace Park, but hopefully our Knights guys can pull up after this heavy spell of cricket, the bowlers especially. They have got to be tired and they will have to dig deep but we are back at Shaw's (Bridge) and will back ourselves to take down anyone at home, including Brigade, who are a good side," he added.

The Knights have been forced to make one change to the T20 team which won the opening match against the Munster Reds in Cork two weeks ago with Lee Nelson ruled out with a broken toe. He is replaced by Nathan Smith while Jamie Holmes also comes into the 12.

T20 squads: Knights: J Shannon (capt), Nik Smith, A Dennison, S Getkate, M Gilmour, G Kidd, C Lewis, G McCarter, Nat Smith, J Mulder, G Thompson, J Holmes.

Lightning: J Anderson (capt), A Balbirnie, P Chase, G Delany, B Gamble, K O'Brien, E Richardson, A Sheridan, S Singh, M Sorensen, T Stanton, L Tucker.

Fixtures: Tomorrow (1pm): NCU Premier League: CIYMS v Waringstown, Instonians v Lisburn, North Down v Muckamore (12pm), Waringstown v Civil Service North.

Section One: Academy v Lurgan, Armagh v Bangor, Cliftonville v Woodvale, Downpatrick v Donaghcloney Mill, Holywood v Derriaghy.

Section Two: Cooke Collegians v Laurelvale, Donaghadee v BISC, Dundrum v Larne, Templepatrick v Saintfield.

Section Three: Dungannon v Ards, Newforge v Dunmurry, Victoria v Monaghan

Sunday: GMcG Junior Cup 2nd round: Larne v Civil Service North II.

Belfast Telegraph

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