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Weather adds to the obstacle facing Northern Knights

By Staff Reporrter

Northern Knights' hopes of winning the Newstalk inter-provincial championship were severely interrupted by rain yesterday with only 41 overs possible on the first day of their game against Leinster Lightning at The Lawn.

The visitors only need to avoid defeat to retain the three-day title so there were no complaints from the Lightning players when the umpires abandoned play for the day, with rain falling, immediately after tea.

On a good batting track, Andrew White won a big toss and although a third wicket on the stroke of lunch gave Lightning a share of the first session, Craig Ervine and White had taken their unbroken fourth wicket stand to 47 when the rain arrived at 2.20pm.

Ervine has already reached his half century, and has so far hit nine boundaries in his 86-ball innings. White, much more patiently, has faced 40 balls for his 18 with only two fours but it is the perfect platform if there is a full day's play today.

Knights were just grateful to bat first after a chaotic morning which left them with only 10 players ready for action. Chris Dougherty had to relinquish his opening spot because he arrived without his cricket bag, James Shannon taking his place as opener and, more seriously, Instonians opening bowler Stephen Bunting ended up in hospital for tests.

Jacob Mulder was summoned as 12th man, bringing with him his club captain's kit to allow him to bat at No 4. But neither batsman adapted to their new role, Shannon caught down the leg side and Dougherty held low at mid-wicket.

Nick Larkin, positive as ever from the start, faced only 41 balls for his 30, which included five fours, before he was Max Sorensen's first victim, the Ireland international again looking the most likely wicket-taker.

Tyrone Kane was the only other bowler to take a wicket.

e THE North West Warriors squad to face Lightning in the one-day Cup on Saturday at Strabane Park is: A McBrine (capt), S Thompson, C Young, D Rankin, A Austin, J Thompson, R Chopra, R Allen, S Campbell, J Milligan, G McClintock, M Moran. A Riddles, A Britton, B Allen and R-L Dougherty were all unavailable.

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