Leinster Lightning completed a two-day win over North West Warriors at Bready last night, by seven wickets, 18 minutes into the extra half-hour to win the Championship with a game to spare.
Fittingly, John Mooney hit the winning runs, a reward for his daring declaration which proved to be timed to perfection.
When Lightning lost their eighth wicket on the stroke of lunch, the lead was only 103 but, more importantly, there were still 71 overs left in the day; the Warriors had batted only 45 in the first innings and had never made 200 in the series. Sure enough, despite reaching 128 for four and 166 for five, they were bowled out for 173, leaving Lightning needing 71 to win in a minimum of 20 overs.
An altercation between Johnny Thompson flared when the Brigade man bowled a beamer at the opening batsman, the apology seemed slow in coming and the umpires had to intervene to settle the piece. But it duly fired up Thompson and his next few overs were among the best in the match.
But the real damage had been done earlier as the Warriors batsmen again went down with barely a whimper. Jason Milligan was an exception, the Fox Lodge opener facing 104 balls for his 43 but apart from McBrine with a classy 48, there was no support.
Andrew Riddles' 26 from 36 balls wasn't what was required.
When Thompson gave a catch to mid-on, two balls after he was dropped at mid-off, it opened up an end for the Lightning. Max Sorensen was again too good for the tail and John Anderson took three wickets with his leg spin, only underlining the strength in depth.