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Powerful Lightning strike again in title stroll


By Ian Callender

In the end, Northern Knights held up the inter-provincial champions until the fourth over after lunch, but the inevitable duly happened and Leinster Lightning completed their second successive win.

It gave them a 35 points advantage at the top of the final table, which probably is a fair reflection of the dominance of the team and will surely have the Cricket Ireland Cricket Committee looking at the format for next year's first-class competition.

At the moment it is too one-sided to be competitive.

North West Warriors and the Knights put up superb second innings rearguards to earn draws at Oak Hill and Stormont respectively but they never threatened to beat the strongest squad.

After Ed Joyce's majestic unbeaten century in Lightning's only innings at Clontarf, it was George Dockrell who yesterday underlined the different class of this side when the 25-year-old international finished with six for 29 from 22 overs on a green pitch where spinners had no right to dominate.

It was his second six-wicket haul of the season, and his second best figures in first class cricket.

With the Knights resuming on 72-5, still needing another 116 to avoid the innings defeat, two wickets in four balls in the fifth over of the day threatened an early finish, but all credit to James Shannon and especially Jamie Magowan who batted for 75 minutes and Robert McKinley for another 53 to take the game into the afternoon session.

Shannon reached his second half century of the match - the 21st time he has passed 50 in the tournament - and is one player who would not look out of place in the Lightning side.

Magowan took 31 balls to get off the mark but was rewarded for his patience with the second top score and a career best 30, while McKinley also hit three boundaries before a sharp catch by Joyce at slip ended the match.

Magowan's innings was not enough to save his place for Sunday's final one-day Cup game against Lightning at Rathmines - the team was picked on Tuesday - with Gary Kidd and Greg Thompson coming in and John Matchett also missing out.

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