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Eaglestone gets chance with Knights

By Ian Callender

The Northern Knights have named six internationals in their squad for the first inter-provincial of the season, a 50-over game against Leinster Lightning at The Hills next Monday.

Only captain Andrew White and James Shannon are currently involved but it is a great opportunity for left-arm opening bowler Phil Eaglestone, in his first season at Waringstown, to put his hand up for a recall.

Mikey Taiaroa, who stayed with Carrickfergus despite their relegation from the Premier League last season, gets his first representative call-up and young Mark Adair, who has joined Civil Service North, is also in the 12-man squad.

Meanwhile, if proof were needed that any team can beat any other team in the Ulster Bank Premier League then promoted Lurgan's victory over CIYMS at Pollock Park did just that.

John Guy was the main bowler for the winners, with figures of four for nine from nine overs, but Stephen Leckey, also took three wickets as not one CI batsman reached 20, bowled out in the 37th over for just 110.

The champions, with only two of their new signings on view and after four big-name exits, could not contain Lurgan captain Stephen Johnston and Niranjan Godbole at the start and although they collapsed from 48 for nought to 105 for eight, the Indian would not be moved and his unbeaten 54 saw his side home.

It will not get any easier for Lurgan, though, with North Down next up and the perennial title contenders made an impressive start with a seven wickets win over Ballymena.

First Tim Ley, North Down's Aussie quick bowler, took four wickets, as the visitors were dismissed for 143 – yes, North Down did not bat first at The Green – and then Nick Larkin, his fellow Sydney-sider, saw them home with an unbeaten 22 from 53 balls, in partnership with Johnny Terrett who batted all 38.2 overs to finish 57 not out.

Instonians' new boys also starred in their equally straightforward win against Lisburn at Shaw's Bridge. South African Nikolai Smith hit 44 from 52 balls with two fours and two sixes and then conceded just seven runs in six overs while West Indian Carleon Brome took two wickets in what looks to be a seriously good attack.

Waringstown made no mistake on the opening day – the title favourites beating Civil Service North at Stormont by 47 runs – but captain Kyle McCallan was disappointed by his side's performance in field, describing it as 'poor'.

The batting certainly went to plan with Lee Nelson continuing his good form from last year with 78, and Obus Pienaar after taking five overs to score his first boundary, accelerated superbly to finish 74 not out from 55 balls with six boundaries, four of them maximums.

Former Ireland international Regan West is committed to playing a full season with CSN and he has been given a new role as opening batsman.

West took to it like a duck to water with 68 from 91 balls with seven fours and a six but, after his dismissal, even the Waringstown fielders couldn't mess it up.

Northern Knights squad: A White (capt), C Dougherty, P Eaglestone, P Eakin, James Hall, N Jones, G Kidd, L Nelson, J Shannon, M Taiaroa, D Simpson, M Adair.

Belfast Telegraph


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