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Mooney receives inter-provincial championship trophy

By Ian Callender

For the second year in a row at The Lawn, John Mooney received the inter-provincial championship trophy as captain of Leinster Lightning, confirming their dominance of the three-day game. After Wednesday's play was washed out, there was never any chance of Lightning completing a clean sweep of four victories but, despite Andrew White's selfless declaration at lunchtime, the Northern Knights were never in danger of defeat either.

White was 87 not out when he called time on the Knights' innings, which had started 78 overs earlier on Tuesday morning, but once Lightning reached 150, for the loss of only one wicket to pick up their first batting point, they could not be caught.

Mooney's declaration 10 minutes before the start of the final hour ended the game and the celebrations could begin.

Nine of the winning squad could not indulge too much, however, as they are back in action tomorrow morning as they return to Strabane Park for their one-day Cup game against the North West Warriors, the ground where they lost the Cup in the final game of last season.

The Leinster squad was announced yesterday morning and with internationals Andrew Balbirnie and Stuart Poynter flying in from England and limited over specialist Barry McCarthy recalled, there is no room for Kenny Carroll and Ben Ackland, the top two scorers yesterday.

Carroll, a late call-up for the unavailable Bill Coghlan, continued his fine club form with 10 fours in his 77 off 117, balls while Ackland produced easily his best and most commanding innings at this level with 54 from 80 balls and eight boundaries.

Neither will get an easier pitch on which to bat on this season, however; only seven wickets fell in the entire match, albeit in only 133 overs, so credit to Robert McKinley for claiming a wicket on his Knights debut.

Greg Thompson and James Cameron-Dow were the other successful bowlers, the latter thanks to a fine running catch from long leg by substitute Jacob Mulder.

The Knights faced 37 overs in the morning session with White enjoying the only 'life' of the day, dropped by Ackland at second slip when he was on 31, but it was never going to affect the result on this most blameless of pitches.

White dominated the early action, scoring 32 of the first 41 runs off the bat to bring up his 50 but when Craig Ervine broke free with a six, followed immediately by two fours, his century was inevitable. It came up in 145 balls with 12 fours and a six and he then added another 31 at a run-a-ball before he was surprisingly caught at backward point.

Ireland under-17s followed the under-15s to European Championship success yesterday with a five wickets victory over Scotland in the third and deciding game of the series at Eglinton.

Chasing 139 to win the 20-over game, Ireland were coasting at 104 for one in the 14th over but four wickets fell quickly including top scorer Sonny Cott with 55, and they still needed 23 runs off the last two overs to clinch the win.

But captain Jack Tector and Waringstown's Adam Dennison each hit a six in the penultimate over, leaving just seven to get off the last and Dennison won it with a two off the fifth ball.

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