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Wilson's Knights three matches from completing a clean sweep

 

Knights captain Gary Wilson
Knights captain Gary Wilson

By Ian Callender

It's one down and two to go for Northern Knights as they return to interprovincial action in the 50-Over Cup competition with their penultimate game against holders Leinster Lightning at Stormont today (10.45am).

Knights captain Gary Wilson believes his squad is good enough to complete a clean sweep of the trophies this season and victories in their next three matches will do just that.

However, the NCU selectors' hopes of fielding the same team that beat Lightning by seven wickets in the reverse fixture at Sydney Parade in June were dashed last night by the withdrawal of James McCollum with a shoulder problem and the unavailability of Graeme McCarter.

At least this time they can call up pace-man David Delany, while Matthew Foster has also been brought in on his home ground, with Josh Manley also called up. Shane Getkate is likely to be Marc Ellison's opening batting partner.

The previous clash between the teams came just three days after Knights had won all three games at the T20 Festival - which won them the trophy after last weekend's wash-out in Bready - when Lightning, after losing three wickets in the first overs, collapsed from 75-3 to 114 all out.

An unbeaten fourth wicket partnership of 71 between Wilson and his vice-captain, Harry Tector, eased Knights to victory inside 22 overs and the bonus point moved them within a point of Lightning at the top of the table.

The one change in the Lightning squad today is the absence of Kevin O'Brien who, it has been confirmed, has a grade one hamstring tear, sustained in the three-day game at Stormont this month. He is likely to be replaced in the team by Rush batsman Stephen Doheny, with Fionn Hand coming into the squad.

North West Warriors, meanwhile, have named their squad for Thursday's must-win game against Lightning at Balrothery - the same 12 on duty at Bready last weekend, minus the unlucky Ryan MacBeth.

Northern Knights: G Wilson (capt), H Tector (v/c), M Adair, J Cameron-Dow, D Delany, M Ellison, M Foster, S Getkate, J Manley, J Mulder, N Rock, G Thompson.

Leinster Lightning: G Dockrell, A Balbirnie, P Chase, S Doheny, G Delany, F Hand, T Kane, J Little, B McCarthy, S Singh, J Tector, L Tucker

North West Warriors: A McBrine (capt), R Allen, A Gillespie, G Hume, G Kennedy, W Porterfield, M Poskitt, D Rankin, D Scanlon, W Smale, S Thompson, C Young

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