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Mark Adair has chance to shine for Knights

By Ian Callender

Published 12/06/2015

Fighting back: Mark Adair returns from injury and plays for the Northern Knights this evening
Fighting back: Mark Adair returns from injury and plays for the Northern Knights this evening

Mark Adair is the new name in the Northern Knights squad for this evening's Twenty20 inter-provincial against North West Warriors at Belmont (5pm).

Adair, the Ireland U19 pace bowler, had injury problems at the start of the season but is now back bowling for Warwickshire II and, registered with Civil Service North is, finally, available to take his place in a Knights starting line-up.

The squad shows four changes from the reverse fixture at Eglinton 12 days ago, with Phil Eaglestone, Nigel Jones and Greg Thompson all returning while Neil Gill, Gary Kidd, James McCollum and Allen Coulter make way.

The Warriors, who are also in 50-over Cup action against Leinster Lightning at Rathmines on Sunday, have named an unchanged squad from the team that beat the Knights by three runs.

Kevin O'Brien and Stuart Poynter are both included in the Lightning squad for the first match of their title defence.

It is cup day tomorrow in both the NCU and North West although only two of the scheduled Ulster Bank Challenge Cup quarter-final ties go ahead on schedule. Cliftonville and CIYMS are playing their first round game and the Civil Service North-Muckamore game has been postponed because of the Pipe Band competition at Stormont.

That leaves last year's beaten finalists Waringstown and league champions Instonians as favourites to be the first two teams into the semi-finals. The Villagers are at Carrickfergus where they have already won a 20 overs league game by eight wickets this season.

Instonians should have little trouble getting past Templepatrick who beat fellow Section One side Woodvale in the first round but have lost three of their first four league games.

The Danske Bank Senior Cup should be more competitive with only the holders, Donemana, having what should be a straightforward passage, when they travel to their closest neighbours, Killyclooney.

Brigade, beaten by Donemana in each of the last three finals, are at Ardmore who dismissed St Johnston for just 49 in the first round and Drummond will fancy their chances of an upset when they host Eglinton. Drummond have won all three Championship games this season and Eglinton needed to win a play-off game last season to avoid a relegation play-off.

Best match of the day should be at Sandel Lodge where Coleraine host Bready, who knocked out league champions Strabane in the first round, although the Bannsiders won last month's league game by seven wickets.

The Lagan Valley Steels Twenty20 finals day is on Sunday with one semi-final at Pollock Park and the other at The Lawn which also hosts the final. The charity collection on the day will in memory of Judith Hewitt, the former Ireland and CIYMS scorer who died last year, aged 44.

The first round of the Ulster Shield and Ulster Plate is completed on Sunday with Derriaghy hoping to make it a fourth win out of eight for NCU teams in the Shield with victory over Killyclooney while in the 2nd XI competition all roads lead to Comber with Donemana bringing a 52-seater coach to watch Christopher Neely's star-studded side which includes three former Ireland internationals, the McBrine twins, James and Junior and Dwayne McGerrigle, take on North Down.

Fixtures: Tonight (5pm): Interprovincial T20 Trophy: Northern Knights v North West Warriors

Tomorrow (12.00): Ulster Bank Challenge Cup First Round: Cliftonville v CIYMS. Second round: Carrickfergus v Waringstown, Instonians v Templepatrick (11.00)

Ulster Bank Premier League (1.00pm): Ballymena v Lisburn

Section One: Bangor v Academy, Derriaghy v Donacloney (11.30am), Lurgan v Downpatrick. Sunday: Cliftonville v Woodvale

Section Two: BISC v Dundrum, Armagh v Holywood, Cregagh v Drumaness, Larne v Laurelvale, Victoria v Saintfield. Sunday: Armagh v BISC, Saintfield v Cregagh.

Section Three: Ards v Dungannon, Donaghadee v Cooke Collegians, Dunmurry v Newforge, Monaghan v Millpark

Danske Bank Senior Cup quarter-finals: Ardmore v Brigade (12.00), Coleraine v Bready, Drummond v Eglinton (12.00), Killyclooney v Donemana

Long's SuperValu Championship: Creevedonnell v Bonds Glen, Glendermott v Fox Lodge (12.00), Newbuildings v Burndennett

Ulster Bank Schools Cup quarter-final (9.00am): Coleraine AI v BRA

Sunday: Inter-provincial Cup (10.45am): Leinster Lightning v North West Warriors

Lagan Valley Steels T20 Cup semi-finals (11.30): Waringstown v North Down (Pollock Park), CIYMS v Carrickfergus (The Lawn). Final (4pm) The Lawn

Ulster Shield (1.00pm): Derriaghy v Killyclooney

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