DAVID SCANLON'S five-wicket haul has left the North-West Warriors requiring 77 runs to win with 8 wickets in hand in the Hanley Energy Interprovincial Championship game against the Northern Knights at Eglinton.

It was another action packed day on Wednesday which saw 18 wickets fall as the ball continued to dominate the bat.

Resuming on 89 for 4, any thoughts that Andy McBrine's team would build an unassailable lead however were soon quashed as the Instonians bowling triumvirate of the Smiths- Nathan (4-34) and Nikolai (2-35), along with Shane Getkate (2-35) helped the NCU outfit fight back in the morning session.

The hosts lost both overnight batsmen, McBrine and Niall McDonnell early with each making 30, and then watched on as Ricky-Lee Dougherty and Aaron Gillespie followed them back into the pavilion soon after.

At that point it was far from certain that the Warriors would even have a 1st innings lead to show for their efforts at 121 for 8, but Ross Allen (24*) and Craig Young (23) remedied that with a stand worth 45 for the 9th wicket.

In the end the Warriors lead was a handy 37, albeit Knights openers Chris Dougherty and Adam Dennison reduced that to 24, as they added 13 in a potentially tricky pre-lunch session.

The 30 minutes post-lunch passage of play could well prove to be the decisive one in the match as Davy Scanlon swung the ball prodigiously to blow away the visitors' top order.

From 13-0 the Knights were suddenly 19-5 and staring down the barrel of a heavy defeat. Credit Greg Thompson (37) and Shane Getkate (35) who combined superbly to get their side back on track with a 75-run stand before Aaron Gillespie (2-12) split them up just as the home side had started to look rattled.

Despite that pair's efforts however James Shannon's men were now 112-8 and still only 75 ahead. Scanlon returned to pick up the wicket of Nathan Smith to complete a superb day's work- his 5-29 matching his Bready club-mate Young's exploits from the previous day, however the Knights were far from done as the last two wickets added an invaluable 49 runs to the cause.

Robert McKinley was the man chiefly responsible as he hit 6 fours in his welcome 43 not out, but the final total was 161 all out meaning the Warriors would need 125 to win for just the second time ever in this format since the Championship began. Ironically their only other victory came at Eglinton and against the Knights.

Despite losing David Rankin early the North West side rallied with overseas men Iroosh Samarasooriya and Imran Butt taking them to a very strong position before Butt missed a full toss from Gary Kidd in the penultimate over to leave the overnight score 48-2.

There is plenty of batting to come on the final day as Ian McGregor's charges look for that famous win but the Knights will feel they are a long way from out of it after Wednesday's twists and turns.

Action at Eglinton resumes at 11am.

Hanley Energy Inter-Provincial Championship

At Eglinton, Day 2 of 3

Northern Knights 130 and 161 (55 overs; R McKinley 43*, G Thompson 37, S Getkate 35, D Scanlon 5-29, A Gillespie 2-12, C Young 2-29)

North-West Warriors 167 (64.5 overs; N McDonnell 30, A McBrine 30, R Allen 24*, C Young 23, Nat Smith 4-34, Nik Smith 2-25, S Getkate 2-35) and 48-2 (15 overs; I Butt 23, I Samarasooriya 20*)