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Lightning draw some comfort after rain frustration

 

'It was not the easiest pitch to score on but Lightning lost only one wicket in the first 23 overs, debutant Cormac McLoughlin-Gavin caught at mid-on off Boyd Rankin's second ball' (stock photo)
'It was not the easiest pitch to score on but Lightning lost only one wicket in the first 23 overs, debutant Cormac McLoughlin-Gavin caught at mid-on off Boyd Rankin's second ball' (stock photo)

By Ian Callender

Leinster Lightning were satisfied to take the points for a draw as rain ruined the final day of their Interprovincial Championship game against North West Warriors at Bready.

Yet another delayed start reduced the day to 84 overs and, in the end, only half of those were bowled before the latest heavy shower hit the ground at 5.30pm.

Lightning had obviously seen the forecast because they made no attempt to force the pace to have a second go at the brittle Warriors batting, with Andrew Balbirnie taking 104 balls to reach 50 and Simi Singh facing 106 balls for his undefeated 34.

It was not the easiest pitch to score on but Lightning lost only one wicket in the first 23 overs, debutant Cormac McLoughlin-Gavin caught at mid-on off Boyd Rankin's second ball.

The most impressive bowler was Coleraine professional Graham Hume, who consistently beat the bats of the two internationals. But, as so often happens, the wickets fell at the other end.

Two balls after bringing up his half-century, Balbirnie turned Andy McBrine straight into the hands of Rankin at short fine leg and Craig Young then took two wickets in six balls, Kevin O'Brien caught at long leg and Lorcan Tucker well held to his left at second slip by the captain, both for seven-ball ducks.

But George Dockrell stayed with Singh, and even scored runs at a strike rate better than 60, before rain had the final say.

It leaves Warriors, after two weather-ruined games, just eight points ahead of Lightning, who have played a game fewer. The Championship now takes a break until July 30, with the teams in T20 mode this weekend.

Three of the squads were named yesterday, but despite being in the 13 released by Munster Reds, Instonians' Oliver Metcalfe was only 14th man by the time the squad was 'corrected' in the afternoon. He can now only take part if someone drops out.

Allen Coulter returns for Northern Knights while the Warriors name their squad today.

Meanwhile, Belfast Royal Academy will have the chance to complete a hat-trick of Schools' Cup successes after knocking out RBAI in yesterday's second semi-final at Osborne Park.

A six-wicket win gives them a third final appearance in five years where they will meet holders Methodist College at Moylena tomorrow (2.45pm).

Star batsman Max Burton scored 40 of the first 59 in just 8.2 overs and, although Harry Warke followed four overs later to leave BRA 70-2, a target of 97 in 25 overs was well within reach and Nick Kane saw them home with 15 balls to spare.

It was Luca Johnston who had claimed the prize scalp of Oliver Metcalfe and, although Bradley McNamara hit a fluent 28, RBAI were bowled out in the final over.

Scores: RBAI 96 (24.4 overs, B McNamara 28, O Metcalfe 23; M Burton 2-9, R Moffett 2-12, R Linden 2-20, L Johnston 2-28) BRA 97-4 (22.3 overs, M Burton 40). BRA won by six wickets.

North West Warriors first innings 135 (S Singh 3-15)

LEINSTER LIGHTNING 1st INNINGS

(overnight 49-1)

C McLoughlin-Gavin c Porterfield b B Rankin 23

A Balbirnie c B Rankin b McBrine 50

S Singh not out 34

K O'Brien c Hume b Young 0

L Tucker c McBrine b Young 0

G Dockrell not out 26

Extras (4lb 2nb) 6

Total (5 wkts, 55.4 overs) 154

Did not bat: G Delany, T Kane, F Hand, P Chase

Fall: 1-24 2-69 3-105 4-108 5-113

Bowling: C Young 13-0-45-3, D Scanlon 3-1-13-0, G Hume 12-2-30-0, B Rankin 9-1-20-1, S Thompson 5-1-10-0, A McBrine 11-0-26-1, G Kennedy 2.4-1-5-0.

North West Warriors (8 pts) drew with Leinster Lightning (11 pts).

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