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James Shannon can't prevent Lightning striking twice

By Ian Callender

Despite the best efforts of James Shannon, the Northern Knights could not deny Leinster Lightning their second successive victory in the Newstalk Interprovincial championship at College Park.

The Instonians batsman batted for two hours and 38 minutes and faced 149 balls for just 27 runs in a rearguard action which ended an hour and half before the scheduled close.

Fifteen minutes later, the game was over, the Knights bowled out for 176 – their target of 333 never a possibility and the Lightning's lead in the table already 20 points.

The one surprise was that Leinster captain John Mooney chose to bat on for an extra 15 minutes "to put defeat out of the question" but although he may have been thinking twice about his decision during the eighth wicket stand between Shannon and Lisburn's David Simpson, he was fully vindicated as off spinner Albert van der Merwe came to the party.

The retired Ireland international finished with three wickets to supplement Eddie Richardson's early strikes, although the biggest wicket was self-inflicted; Nick Larkin run out after confusion with Lee Nelson.

Most of the Knights players have a double bill of cup action this weekend with Instonians' home tie against Waringstown (11am start) on Sunday in the O'Neill's Ulster Cup the main attraction.

Waringstown, also holders of the Challenge Cup, continue their defence at Lurgan tomorrow while Instonians, the team they beat in last year's final, host CIYMS.

Civil Service North go to Belmont on Sunday in the Ulster Cup, the day after they entertain Carrickfergus, while Lisburn and North Down, both knocked out of the Challenge Cup in the opening round, will have an extra incentive to win at Donemana and Bready respectively on Sunday.

The only game Muckamore have won this season was their first round Challenge Cup tie at Bangor but a second win, away to Downpatrick, tomorrow will see them into the semi-final.

Belfast Telegraph


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