A POWERFUL all-round team performance from Leinster Lightning proved too much for the MTB Northern Knights at Comber as the holders swept to an emphatic 91 runs victory in the first inter-provincial Cup match to beat the weather.

After Graeme McCarter dismissed Jack Tector with the first ball of the match, all eight remaining Lightning batsmen passed 20 and while the Knights’ top seven all made double figures, only two scored more than 21.

Home skipper Gary Wilson was probably the happier captain after 40 overs having restricted their star-studded opponents to 191-5. But, possibly after an exclusive diet of T20 cricket in this unique season, the bowlers tired and the visitors finished on 306-7 with Tyrone Kane and George Dockrell hitting 46 off the last three overs.

Stephen Doheny, one of only three non-internationals, came into the game in form after top scoring with 87 in the 40-over intra-squad game in Malahide last Friday and duly followed up with 79 to anchor an innings which included five partnerships in excess of 40. Only Shane Getkate, of the six Knights bowlers used, conceded less than five an over – and he only bowled seven overs.

In contrast, the Knights had only one stand more than 40, but while Ruhan Pretorius and Getkate, who was last man out for a run-a-ball 73, were adding 79 for the fifth wicket, they were well in the game.

A horrible shot by the North Down professional, coming down the pitch to first ball of Peter Chase’s second spell, ended that and when Adair holed out for just 16, the game was up – Knights losing their last four wickets for 14 runs in 21 balls, three of them to Simi Singh.

Meanwhile, the go-ahead has been given by the Irish government for YMCA to travel to Belfast for tomorrow’s All-Ireland T20 Cup final against Donemana (1pm). Sport NI have confirmed that Belmont can host the final and CIYMS, as the 2019 winners, will play this year’s champions on Sunday in the play-off match, also at Belmont, to determine who represents Ireland in next year’s European Cricket League.That match, also starts at 1pm.