WARRIOR GILLESPIE AMONGST THE RUNS

Strabane all-rounder Aaron Gillespie played a major role as The NW Warriors made a strong start in their ongoing interprovincial Championship match against Leinster Lightning In Dublin.

The 21 year-old scored his second successive half century for the Warriors, helping his side to recover from a poor start to record maximum bonus points with hundreds from Stuart Thompson and Niall O'Brien.

"It felt great out there," said Gillespie. "The conditions were obviously very tricky early on with the ball moving about, but once you got settled, it became easier."

The Warriors fielded a very strong side, with Boyd Rankin returning from Warwickshire for his match for the province in 15 years, while Ireland captain William Porterfield was also included, one of seven senior internationals in the North-West ranks.

Gillespie felt he couldn't help but learn being surrounded by players of their calibre, quality and experience.

"It's great to be involved with the Warriors set-up. It's where you want to be as a cricketer playing with the best and this match has got 17 internationals involved. That's a great standard and you want to benchmark yourself against the best."

On the domestic front, Strabane's match against Ardmore was abandoned at the weekend, and the Red Caps forfeited their T20 match against the same opponents. Was the former Ireland U19 international worried about the season and the relegation trap-door?

"We haven't started the best but it's very early," commented Gillespie. "There are a number of matches which we will target and if we can win those we should be fine.

"We have enough talent in the squad and our Sri Lankan overseas player Chathura Pieris looks a quality acquisition so once he gets acclimatised he will be a real force for the club."