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Louw back in Warriors line-up for Leinster Lightning meeting

 

Back in: Brendon Louw has returned to the North West Warriors squad for the clash with Leinster Lightning
Back in: Brendon Louw has returned to the North West Warriors squad for the clash with Leinster Lightning

By Ian Callender

Brendon Louw has been recalled to the North West Warriors squad for the inter-provincial Championship clash against Leinster Lightning, which gets under way in Balrothery this morning (11.00).

Louw, the Ballyspallen professional, replaces Ireland international Stuart Thompson who has pulled out following the death of his uncle, Oliver Thompson, a former North West player, and brother of Nigel.

The return of Louw as batsman/wicket-keeper means that Will Smale will play as a specialist batsman on his Warriors debut. The Ireland Under-19 player was originally selected as the wicket-keeper, but with Louw as first available reserve, following Thompson's withdrawal, he will fulfil the same role he had in the Warriors' first two Championship games of the season.

Both of those were badly rain-affected - Warriors have bowled only 55 overs in the series so far - and must go into this week's match without Boyd Rankin who has signed for Derbyshire for the rest of the month.

He is replaced by Brigade opening bowler Ryan MacBeth and there is also a first appearance in the Warriors senior squad for 17-year-old Eglinton opening batsman Tommy Orr.

Kevin O'Brien is the notable absentee from the Lightning squad, after pulling up with a hamstring niggle in last week's game against Northern Knights at Stormont - he will also sit out the T20 festival in Bready this weekend - and is replaced by Lorcan Tucker who returns as wicket-keeper, after missing the Stormont clash because of exams. Opening bowler Josh Little is included again after injury.

Meanwhile, Senior Cup holders Brigade went into the weekend hoping to win two more trophies but the rain over the previous 48 hours prevented them even getting on the field.

After their potential title-winning Premiership game at Donemana was washed out on Saturday, the White Horse T20 Blast finals day at Strabane went the same way yesterday.

Brigade and Donemana were due to meet again in the Premiership final to determine who represents North West in the All-Ireland T20 finals on Sunday week, and with this weekend ruled out because of the T20 inter-provincials, the game will now go ahead at Strabane on Thursday.

It means the Warriors players on the two teams, and involved in both the Championship and T20 squads, will be playing on seven consecutive days, starting in North County today.

The North West, much like their NCU counterparts, must also split the two T20 finals with the championship decider, between Ardmore and Fox Lodge, which was due to precede yesterday's Premiership final, now going to next Sunday, still at Strabane.

It has also been confirmed that Ireland will play in a five-team tournament in Oman, ahead of the T20 World Cup qualifiers in October.

Ireland will face Netherlands, Hong Kong, Nepal and their hosts in T20 internationals from October 5-9 before heading onto the UAE for the qualifiers.

TODAY'S SQUADS - Leinster Lightning: G Dockrell (capt), A Balbirnie, P Chase, S Doheny, F Hand, T Kane, J Little, B McCarthy, C McLoughlin-Gavin, S Singh, J Tector, L Tucker

North West Warriors: A McBrine (capt), R Allen, A Gillespie, G Hume, G Kennedy, R MacBeth, T Orr, W Porterfield, D Rankin, W Smale, S Thompson, C Young.

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