Less than two weeks ago Munster Reds were dismissed for 76 and lost by nine wickets.

Today at a damp Mardyke they again could only muster 76 albeit it was off just 13 overs in a curtailed contest.

Put into bat by George Dockrell, openers Jack Tector and Jeremy Lawlor pushed the score along to 17 before Lawlor edged a catch to Lorcan Tucker off James Newlandís second ball in List A cricket. Indeed, Newland can consider himself very unlucky to be given just the one over while conceding a mere four runs.

With the breakthrough made wickets fell at regular intervals. Tector was bowled by Simi Singh for 10 and then Dockrell brought himself into the attack for his first bowl of the season.

It turned out to be an inspired move as his first delivery pitched on middle and hit a bemused Cormac McLoughlin-Gavinís off stump. Neil Rock faced ten balls for 7 runs, six of them coming from one mighty hit over long on off Singh. He then became Dockrellís second victim smartly stumped by Tucker off a leg side wide.

Tim Tector and JJ Garth advanced the score to 51 before the YMCA man fell for 16 which included a big leg side maximum off Dockrell. Garth, as several others have done in this tournament, took a liking to Curtis Campher launching him for two enormous sixes in the space of four deliveries. As he did in the reverse fixture Garth was the top scorer, this time with 22.

The innings petered out and unusually all six bowlers used appeared in the wicketís column with Dockrellís 2-12 from his maximum three overs the most successful.

For the Reds to have any chance of success they had to take early wickets and lo and behold they did with Senan Jones having Stephen Doheny caught at point for four. Then with the total still on ten Aaron Cawley snared Kevin OíBrien, the man who has dominated this IP20 event, when Lawlor plucked the ball out of the air on the square leg boundary.

However, that was as good as it got as Tucker and Tyrone Kane added 53 off 38 balls and brought Lightning to the cusp of victory with Kane clearing the ropes three times while Tucker pouched two for himself.

Left arm spinner Diarmud Carey bore the brunt of the onslaught, conceding 21 runs in his second over. Following the fall of Kane, Campher finished the game off with 12 runs of three successive deliveries which ensured that Lightning got the bonus point.

Cawley with 1-7 off his two overs was the pick of the Reds bowlers. There are quite a few talented young players in the Reds side, but they lack a couple of experienced players in the squad who can guide them. Emphatic defeats can be demoralising and there needs to be a rethink on the makeup of the squad.

It is now a straight fight between Lightning, who hold a three-point advantage, and Northern Knights, who had a comprehensive win over the Warriors in Comber today.

The top two meet in Pembroke on Thursday and it is probable that the winners will emerge as champions.