Leinster Lightning duly wrapped up the win over the North West Warriors on Thursday afternoon but it proved to be far from straightforward for John Mooney’s men as the home side had their pride restored after Wednesday evening’s disappointing session.
The Warriors resumed on 20 for 5 overnight in the face of some inspired bowling from the visiting skipper and their first task was to get another 24 runs needed to make Lightning bat again.
Andy McBrine and Stuart Thompson duly did so without any further damage but no sooner had they passed the landmark than they were both dismissed by Eddie Richardson for 12 and 15 respectively.
Andrew Riddles and Johnny Thompson added 34 more before Riddles (16) and new batsman Ricky-Lee Dougherty fell to Max Sorensen in successive balls to leave the batting side on 82-9.
Thompson and Craig Young chipped away for the last wicket before the former was last man out for 18, with Young unbeaten on 20 – there can’t have been many matches where the number 11′s top scored in consecutive innings.
Mooney with 4-22 and Sorensen (4-43) were mainly responsible for keeping the hosts to 105 all out with Richardson chipping in with 2-21.
Most spectators probably felt that an hour would do it from here but the Warriors refused to lie down. Openers Bill Coghlan and Ben Ackland knocked off 20 of the 62 runs needed to win before Tabish Khan had Coghlan caught behind and Andy McBrine bowled Number 3 Patrick Collins, playing on, soon after.
Ernest Kemm was then introduced into the North West attack and made the game a little interesting removing Ackland for 19 and then Poynter without scoring.
Young and McBrine combined to get rid of the dangerous Kevin O’Brien for 10 to leave Lightning on 55-5 but despite Kemm soon picking up the wicket of John Anderson for 16, the visitors always had this in hand.
Kemm (3-15) looked a handful over the three days and with good support from skipper McBrine (2-22) and Khan (1-7) the Warriors managed to emerge with their pride very much intact.
They now go to Coleraine today for a 50 over game against the Northern Knights.
John Mooney’s men though still very much look the team to beat in all formats of this series and it is they who start the season on the front foot.