Belfast Telegraph

Thursday 25 December 2014

Young shines but Warriors are put to the sword

Impressive: Craig Young caught Phil Simmons' eye
Impressive: Craig Young caught Phil Simmons' eye

North West Warriors fought all the way but 45 minutes into the afternoon session they finally had to admit defeat as Leinster Lightning made a successful first defence of the coveted Newstalk Inter-provincial championship.

Captain John Mooney admitted their batting had not been good enough – they were chasing only 65 to win – but nothing should be taken away from the home bowlers, who stuck to their task and deservedly closed the margin to a respectable four wickets.

Craig Young, determined to make the plane to Australia for Ireland's World Cup campaign early next year, led the way by bowling the perfect length and, although unable to add to his five first innings wickets, undoubtedly impressed watching national coach Phil Simmons.

It was the spinners who enjoyed themselves, with Andy McBrine and Bready's South African professional Ernest Kemm sharing five wickets before Mooney pulled the winning runs.

But, as he acknowledged, they still had Max Sorensen and Fintan McAllister to come – the heroes of Wednesday's last wicket stand of 93. It was the difference between winning and losing.

Resuming in peril on 20 for five, McBrine and Stuart Thompson doubled that score in barely four overs and four balls later had knocked off the first innings deficit of 44. But then Eddie Richardson removed both in quick succession and it was left to Young to star with the bat.

There are just the two enforced changes to the Warriors squad for Monday's 50-over inter-provincial Cup game against the Northern Knights at Coleraine with opening bowler Gareth Burns and Donemana's Gary McClintock replacing Tabish Khan and Kemm.

* Only two North West sides have made it to the second round of the RSA Irish Senior Cup so far, so Sunday is a big day for the five sides still in with a chance of joining Bready and Coleraine.

Strabane and Brigade will be favourites to go through against Lurgan and Phoenix respectively, but Ardmore have an attractive home game against five-times winners North County.

Fox Lodge head south to meet 2009 winners Leinster and St Johnston will also be underdogs despite Civil Service agreeing to travel for an 11.30am start in Donegal.

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