North West Warriors hit double ton but taste defeat
Andy McBrine led from the front as North West Warriors finally reached 200 in a three-day inter-provincial, but the captain's defiant 87 was not enough to stave off a third successive defeat.
Leinster Lightning captain John Mooney's generous declaration, setting the visitors 293 in 97 overs, gave Warriors the chance of a first ever Championship win but too many batsmen let their side down with rash or ugly shots and they were still 70 runs short when McBrine was caught off the leading edge with still 23 overs left.
The top three Warriors batsmen again failed to deal with the new ball – David Rankin, Jason Milligan and Scott Campbell scored 32 between them in the match – although this time they were faced by the best spell of the match, Ireland opening bowler Max Sorensen bowling fast and straight.
Second time around, however, overseas player Ernest Kemm failed when, in partnership with his skipper, they could have left Mooney regretting his munificence.
Stuart Thompson had already enjoyed the benefit of enormous doubt when he was adjudged not out on one, to a catch behind off Eddie Richardson, and went on to add another 33 runs before being caught at slip but, for the second innings in a row, Johnny Thompson batted for the team before being beaten by Mooney.
The umpires were so determined not to hold up play that they continued in persistent rain for half an hour before taking an early tea. Only six overs were lost, not enough to prevent Lightning, who had added 40 in five overs in the morning, from extending their lead at the top of the table.
The teams, including the Northern Knights, are back in action on Sunday when the T20 inter-provincials get under way in Bready, but first up for four players in the Knights squad are tomorrow's Ulster Bank Challenge Cup semi-finals.
Chris Dougherty and Nathan Waller are in direct opposition to Lee Nelson and Greg Thompson in the big one at Belmont between CIYMS and holders Waringstown, while T20 finalists Civil Service North are expected to win their second semi of the week, at home to Section One side Downpatrick.
Arguably the most important game of the day is in the Premier League when one of the basement strugglers, Muckamore and Ballymena, will get their first win when they meet at Moylena.
Leinster Lightning 324 (M Sorensen 86, B Coghlan 61, A van der Merwe 54, C McLoughlin 30; C Young 4-91) and 156-2 dec (F McAllister 71 not out, P Collins 45 not out, B Coghlan 36) North West Warriors 188 (E Kemm 55 not out, J Mooney 3-34) and 227 (A McBrine 87, J Thompson 42, S Thompson 34; A van der Merwe 4-54, J Mooney 3-71, M Sorensen 2-54).
Lightning won by 65 runs.