Andy McBrine and his Warriors turn up heat on Knights
North West Warriors took control of their Inter-Provincial Championship game at Comber with three half centuries and three more batsmen getting into the 40s as Northern Knights suffered in the field on a sweltering hot day.
Warriors start the final day with a lead of 174 and just when everyone - the Knights players included - probably expected a declaration to give their opening batsmen a tricky few final overs before the close, skipper Andy McBrine called their bluff.
And how No 11 batsman David Scanlon has repaid him. With Graham Kennedy, the last wicket pair have added 101 with the Bready opening bowler scoring almost half of them. The temptation for McBrine must be to let Scanlon turn his highest first class score into a half century and keep the Knights opening batsmen guessing just when they will finally get to the middle.
McBrine led the way with 77 and Niall O'Brien and Kennedy were the others to pass 50 as William Porterfield and David Rankin in the Warriors all-star cast just missed out.
Resuming on 73-2, O'Brien dashed off at a one-day pace, scoring the 33 runs he needed to post his 46th first class half century - to go with 15 hundreds - from just 33 balls but then had to watch two of his Ireland team-mates fall in successive deliveries.
Porterfield looked aghast when he thought he had been given out caught at first slip but word soon came from the middle that it was actually leg before which eased his pain a little.
Before he had heard the verdict, however, Stuart Thompson was heading back to the pavilion, and he was caught by Dougherty at slip.
O'Brien then enjoyed a life on 58, dropped in the covers above his head by John Matchett and, unfortunately for Knights, it was not the only chance missed on a day to forget in the field.
McBrine was dropped at slip by Dougherty, which was to cost 40 runs from the skipper's bat alone and Neil Rock also missed a chance standing up on a day when he conceded 26 byes.
To be fair to the 17-year-old, he has already fielded longer than he has ever done before - it's 124 overs and counting - and Shane Getkate was forced to rely on his slow bowlers to bowl the vast majority of the overs.
The fact he didn't look to Mark Adair and Phil Eaglestone to deliver a breakthrough with the second new ball - Warriors were 256-6 after 80 overs - spoke volumes as James Cameron-Dow and Harry Tector shared 74 overs.
Cameron-Dow was rewarded with his maiden five-wicket haul in first class cricket while Tector enjoyed his two successes in consecutive overs. But that only brought in Scanlon, one of the better No 11s around, and he duly went out and proved it.
While Kennedy finished the day a model of patience having faced 162 balls for his 62, Scanlon plundered six fours and a six in his 45 from just 60 balls.
M Ellison lbw b Scanlon 8
C Dougherty c Porterfield b Young 3
J McCollum c O'Brien b Kennedy 116
H Tector c Thompson b Young 0
J Matchett c McBrine b Thompson 0
S Getkate c McBrine b Young 38
N Rock b Kennedy 12
M Adair b Thompson 0
J Mulder c Gillespie b Allen 22
J Cameron-Down not out 39
P Eaglestone b Scanlon 0
Extras (1b 4lb 1w 6nb)12
Total (81.3 overs) 250
Fall: 1-11 2-11 3-11 4-13 5-86 6-106 7-107 8-159 9-238.
Bowling: C Young 19-5-62-3, D Scanlon 14.3-2-65-2; S Thompson 10-2-19-2, G Kennedy 13-3-31-2, A McBrine 17-4-41-0, R Allen 8-1-27-1
NORTH WEST WARRIORS
W Porterfield lbw b Cameron-Dow 43
D Barr b Adair 3
A Gillespie b Eaglestone 5
N O'Brien c Dougherty b Cameron-Dow 68
S Thompson c Dougherty b Cameron-Dow 0
A McBrine c Tector b Cameron-Dow 77
D Rankin lbw b Cameron-Dow 43
G Kennedy not out 62
R Allen c Rock b Tector 7
C Young c Matchett b Tector 14
D Scanlon not out 45
Extras (26b 27lb 4nb) 57
Total (9 wkts, 124 overs) 424
Fall: 1-15 2-22 3-122 4-122 5-167 6-245 7-294 8-309 9-323
Bowling: M Adair 13-2-49-1, P Eaglestone 13-0-52-1, S Getkate 4-2-12-0, H Tector 43-9-94-2, J Cameron-Dow 35-7-101-5, J Mulder 16-0-63-0