Knights collapse to give Lightning the edge
Despite starting the last day with a lead of 173, the Northern Knights had to defend for the last session to ensure they escaped with a draw against the Leinster Lightning.
After declaring eight runs behind, the Lightning bowled out the NCU side for 131 to take the psychological advantage into next week's return fixture at Stormont.
Indeed, Lightning skipper George Dockrell not only kept Knights in the field to take the final two wickets in the last hour, but then threatened to go out to bat again, despite needing 140 with only eight overs left.
Player power took over in the dressing room, however, his team-mates persuading him of the futility of the exercise, and the teams eventually shook hands before the fourth innings began.
One player who wasn't complaining about staying out in the middle, long after the possibility of victory, was Simi Singh. An unused member of the Ireland Test squad last week, he enjoyed his return to action, scoring his second first-class century and then took his maiden five-wicket haul.
Bowling unchanged for 26 overs, his first victim was Knights captain Gary Wilson, which he followed up with the wickets of fellow internationals Shane Getkate, caught at slip, and Mark Adair.
The wicket of Getkate forced James McCollum to come to the middle at No.7. The Test match opener had not intended batting - having been hit full on the foot when fielding at short leg on day two - but needs must, and when Adair's wicket fell, the Knights, then just 122 in front, went into full defence mode.
At one stage they were scoreless for 51 consecutive deliveries and still managed to lose McCollum playing down the wrong line to slow bowler Stephen Doheny.
The Knights had done enough to avoid late embarrassment, however, and by the time Singh bowled David Delany, the Knights were 135 in front and only 15 overs were left.
At the start of the day, The Hills opener Cormac McLoughlin-Gavin added only four to his overnight 82, caught at mid-wicket, and Josh Manley found himself on a hat-trick when he bowled Kevin O'Brien next ball.
Late runs from Tyrone Kane and Barry McCarthy not only saw Singh to his century but also set up an unexpectedly tense third innings.
Meanwhile, Ireland Under-19s, as expected, won their final game at the World Cup qualifiers, but so did Scotland who go through to the finals in South Africa.
ICC U19 World Cup qualifier
Schiedam: France 75 (28.4 overs, S Iftikhar 34 not out; M Thompson 5-17, A Neary 3-8) Ireland 76-5 (8.2 overs, N McGuire 24, W Smale 22). Ireland won by 5 wickets.
TOMORROW (12 noon) - Robinson Services Premier League: Lisburn v Civil Service North, Muckamore v North Down, Waringstown v Carrickfergus. Sunday: Instonians v Carrickfergus (11am), North Down v Civil Service North (11am).
Section One: Armagh v Templepatrick, Bangor v Derriaghy, Cregagh v Holywood, Downpatrick v Ballymena, Woodvale v Donaghcloney Mill. Sunday: Holywood v Templepatrick.
Section Two: BISC v Laurelvale, Cooke Collegians v Cliftonville Academy, Lurgan v Saintfield, Belfast Superkings v Monaghan. Sunday; Laurelvale v Belfast Superkings, BISC v Monaghan (M2, 11am).
Section Three: Drumaness v Donaghadee, Dundrum v Ards.
SUNDAY - Irish Senior Cup semi-finals (12.30pm): CIYMS v Waringstown, Phoenix v Pembroke.
National Cup semi-finals (1.30pm): Derriaghy v Railway Unin, Ardmore v Terenure (1pm).
Long's SuperValu Premiership (12 noon): Eglinton v Bready.
Northern Knights 1st Innings 332 (H Tector 146, M Ellison 36)
LEINSTER LIGHTNING 1st INNINGS
(overnight 159-3, J Tector 34)
C McL'lin-Gavin c Ellison b Manley86
S Singh not out 100
K O'Brien b Manley 0
G Dockrell b Delany 6
T Kane lbw b Foster 28
B McCarthy c Adair b Tector 44
Extras (2b 2lb 2w 2nb 5 pens) 13
Total (8 wkts dec, 76.3 overs) 324
Bowling: J Manley 11-0-50-2, S Getkate 3-0-24-0, J Cameron-Dow 23-5-64-0, D Delany 14-1-63-3, H Tector 15.3-1-64-1, M Foster 10-1-50-2
NORTHERN KNIGHTS 2nd INNINGS
M Ellison run out 27
M Commins lbw b McCarthy 0
H Tector lbw b Dockrell 12
G Wilson b Singh 36
S Getkate c O'Brien b Singh 7
M Adair c Tucker b Singh 17
J McCollum b Doheny 8
J Cameron-Dow not out 12
D Delany b Singh 3
J Manley b Dockrell 1
M Foster lbw b Singh 1
Extras (6b 1lb) 7
Total (60.5 overs) 131
Bowling: B McCarthy 5-1-9-1, T Kane 3-1-7-0, G Dockrell 15-4-32-2, S Singh 25.5-7-38-5, P Chsse 7-0-33-0, S Doheny 3-2-4-1, J Little 2-1-1-0