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Ireland skipper Porterfield set for Warriors bow


By Ian Callender

William Porterfield returns to the ranks at Waringstown tomorrow when Andy McBrine captains the North West Warriors in their Inter-provincial Cup match against the Northern Knights.

It is 10 years since the Ireland captain last played at 'home' without leading a team into the field but that will be his unfamiliar role after his county, Warwickshire, confirmed he can make his Warriors debut.

Porterfield is one of four changes to the visitors' line-up and his inclusion brings the international representatives to five, even without the suspended Niall O'Brien and Craig Young, whose workload is being managed by Cricket Ireland - he has been told he must sit out the 50 overs contest.

Young is replaced as strike bowler by Brigade's Andy Britton, who joins Stuart Thompson and David Rankin as the capped players in the line-up, while Ricky-Lee Dougherty resumes his place behind the stumps.

Aaron Heywood comes in for Ireland Under-19 hero Graeme Kennedy, who has pulled out, opting to play for Ballyspallen in their vital Championship match against Newbuildings.

Apart from Young, Andrew Austin and Imran Butt are the others to be left out after the three-day Championship draw against the Knights as the Warriors selectors decide to go without an overseas professional, with Porterfield taking up a place.

The last time Porterfield played as a non-captain in Ireland was in 2007, his second season at Rush, although by that stage he was already in the international side, skippered that year by Trent Johnston.

When Johnston retired temporarily from one-day international cricket the following year, Porterfield, who was captain of every Ireland under-age team since Under-13 level, has been in situ ever since. The 33-year-old was lined-up to play for the Warriors last year but Warwickshire blocked that appearance but, finally, in the fourth year of the new-look inter-pros, the Killyclooney boy will play with his North West team-mates.

The Warriors, playing their final game, can hand Lightning the trophy tomorrow by beating the Knights, who must win their last two games to overhaul Lightning.

Knights: J Shannon (capt), A Dennison C Dougherty, G Kidd, G McCarter, J McCollum, J Mulder, L Nelson, Nat Smith, Nik Smith, G Thompson, R McKinley.

Warriors: A McBrine (capt), R Allen, D Barr, A Britton, RL Dougherty, A Heywood, S Lazars, W Porterfield, D Rankin, D Scanlon, J Thompson, S Thompson.

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