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Dynamic duo prove the Knights have tons of quality


By Ian Callender

Centuries by Adam Dennison and Chris Dougherty in an undefeated opening partnership of 244 gave the Northern Knights a morale-boosting victory ahead of their inter-provincial campaign.

The (Scottish) Western Warriors were their hapless victims in this Shaw's Bridge friendly and the only downside for Knights coach Simon Johnston was that none of the rest of the batting line-up got to the middle.

Instonians captain Nikolai Smith was the unfortunate batsmen who had to sit with his pads on for almost two and a half hours while Lisburn skipper Adam Berry and Shane Getkate, at No.4 and No.5 respectively, could just sit and watch some brilliant hitting.

Getkate still doesn't know if or who he will be playing for on Saturday on the opening day of the Premier League season after Tuesday night's NCU board meeting could not come to a decision on the contractual issue at the centre of the dispute between the Knights skipper's current club Civil Service North and his pursuers Instonians, for whom he scored a century in a friendly 10 days ago.

The board has written to both clubs and told them to "sort it out themselves" with CSN demanding that Instonians pay out the final year of his three-year contract before they release him.

On the field yesterday, Getkate's most difficult task was deciding which bowlers to use at the death as the Warriors hit 75 off the last eight overs with Graeme McCarter (who conceded 11 in one over), Stephen Bunting (13) and Phil Eaglestone (14) all having to be taken out of the attack.

The Warriors' total of 237 in 43 overs - upgraded to 243 by D/L as their innings was interrupted by rain - looked competitive but the visitors' bowling is not nearly as strong as their batting and Dennison and Dougherty put on an exhibition as they shared 27 fours and four sixes.

Dougherty had been the big hitter the previous evening - scoring 62 off 37 balls - when the Knights chased down 122 in 16 overs to win the Twenty20 game between the teams but it was Dennison, a member of last year's Ireland Under-19 World Cup squad, who was quickest out of the blocks yesterday, reaching his 50 off 55 balls and the Waringstown batsman was also first to his 100, from 102 balls.

But his partner, for the second successive day seeing far less of the strike, was scoring the quicker and his landmarks were reached from 46 and 94 balls respectively. The CIYMS opener gave the only chance of the day, on 75, but no-one could deny either player their century.

Scores: Western Warriors 237-7 (43 overs, C Young 78, R Lyons 41, M English 29, F Javad 27; S Bunting 2-47) Northern Knights 244-0 (35.4 overs, A Dennison 118 not out, C Dougherty 110 not out). Knights won by 10 wickets.

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