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Northern Knights finish the job but coach Moleon expects more

By Ian Callender

Northern Knights coach Eugene Moleon admitted there was plenty of work to do ahead of their next Newstalk inter-provincial championship game against Leinster Lightning in Dublin, starting in 11 days' time.

The Knights duly completed an eight wickets victory over the North West Warriors at Stormont just 63 minutes into the final day, but the batting collapse in the first innings, he admitted, cannot be repeated against the tournament favourites.

"The first innings is critical in three or four day cricket but credit to the Warriors, they bowled well and Tabish Khan (who finished with six wickets) showed what a guy bowling a consistent line and length can do and he was rewarded," said Moleon.

But there were plenty of positives and he was delighted that Shane Getkate, who also took six wickets in the match on his senior inter-provincial debut, took his chance, due to the unavailability of Phil Eaglestone.

"Shane put pressure on himself. He made the move to Civil Service North and he wanted to do well. So we gave him the opportunity and he stepped up," added the Knights coach.

"Nathan Waller finished off the second innings and got a crucial 30 on the second day and Craig Ervine showed his experience and Nick Larkin looked in good touch.

"We're still not sure about Eaglestone's availability for the next game but we would like to play our best possible team and 'Stoop' is one of the guys who does well in the longer form. He has that experience which we would need against good opposition."

The Knights resumed yesterday needing just 69 for victory and Ervine and skipper Andrew White took their unbroken stand to 87 to see them home, Ervine winning the match with his fourth six to go with six fours in his unbeaten 72.

Moleon meanwhile, should be back in action himself tomorrow in the big Ulster Bank Premier League match against North Down at Comber (noon start).

"It was a tough comeback last Sunday (in the Challenge Cup win against Holywood), but I always said I would never see Instonians stuck. Andrew Forbes was our most consistent bowler but he has an ankle injury now and will be missing again on Saturday, so I will see how the body is," said last year's club captain.

"A few teams have started slowly this season, including Instonians with one win in three, but it's always a big game at Comber and we've always raised our game against North Down."

Waringstown and CI are setting the pace, with a 100% record and will be expected to maintain it against winless Ballymena and Muckamore respectively, leaving Civil Service North to host Lisburn in the other Premier League game.

North Down and Waringstown are the NCU's only survivors in the RSA Irish Cup which continues on Sunday and they have home advantage in the last 16 against Phoenix and Railway Union respectively.

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