Wednesday 21 March 2018

No treble for Leinster

Ger Siggins

LEINSTER's dream of a triple crown of RSA Interpro titles perished in Strabane last night. While the Lightning struck twice in the T20 and three-day competitions, the battling Warriors ensured they didn't have it all their own way.

Missing five regulars, Leinster's strength in depth was found wanting in the face of a strong team performance by the North-West, who ran out 71-run winners, handing the trophy to the Northern Knights.

On a seaming wicket, Andrew Riddles asked the most questions and the visitors didn't have the answers as the former Ireland 'A' player returned 4-31. Riddles played in the 2004 under 19 World Cup alongside Kevin O'Brien, William Porterfield, Gary Wilson and Boyd Rankin, but never won a full cap. Another member of that side, Eoin Morgan, was watching yesterday.

Warriors were asked to bat on a slow pitch, and half their side battled hard and made useful contributions without anyone going on to a 50. The prolific Niall McDonnell top scored with 41, while Riddles and Iftikhar Hussain added 82 for the seventh wicket.

Chasing 230, Lightning lost two early wickets, but John Anderson and Andrew Poynter regrouped with a stand of 53 which occupied 22 overs. But after they got out, to Riddles, only O'Brien showed the application needed. The Leinster captain took his team to within 83 runs of victory with 10 overs left but was disappointed to be adjudged lbw and the tail surrendered meekly.

The Cricket Writers of Ireland presented their awards in Strabane last night, with the Russell Court International Player of the Year award going to Ed Joyce. Other winners included Eddie Richardson (Port Hotel Young Player of the Year), Niall McDonnell (Ulster Bank Club Player of the Year) and John Anderson (Cricket Europe Interprovincial Player of the Year).

Sunday Independent

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