EVEN the expected rain at Bready yesterday could not prevent Leinster Lightning from completing a magnificent seventh successive inter-provincial Cup success with Jack Tector also enjoying a memorable four days.
The YMCA captain lifted the All-Ireland T20 trophy on Saturday and yesterday he was 76 not out, with seven fours and a six, when rain ended the match more than 23 overs early.
But that was well past the 20-over cut-off point when a result could be decided by the DLS method and Lightning were 62 ahead of their target, despite losing Kevin O’Brien just four balls earlier.
The game – and the trophy success with two matches to play - only underlined the gulf in class between Lightning and the rest. They had already gained a bonus point victory over Northern Knights and it could be more of the same at the weekend in the return fixtures at Malahide on Saturday and Monday.
Of the Lightning bowlers, only Josh Little conceded more than five runs an over, with skipper George Dockrell and Simi Singh bowling 19 overs for just 52 runs as spin rendered the Warriors batsmen virtually strokeless.
(George Dockrell and Simi Singh)
After Peter Chase had claimed the prize wicket of William Porterfield for 14 in the seventh over, the spin twins came on and in the next 14 overs the Warriors went from 62-1 to 90-4; there were only two boundaries.
Nathan McGuire was the biggest loser. The 18-year old Rush opener, in his first season with Warriors, had looked comfortable and confident for 15 overs but two balls from Singh proved one too many as he was comprehensively bowled.
But he shouldn’t be too disappointed as Stuart Thompson and Andy McBrine, with a total of 161 Ireland caps, also looked back to see the bails off, both victims of Dockrell for an aggregate of eight runs.
Coleraine’s Ireland Under-19 international Will Smale, batting at No 3, held firm to face 70 balls, but five runs short of a maiden List A 50, he unluckily played on to Curtis Campher who added another three wickets in his final spell.
However, thanks to Graham Kennedy’s 46 off 52 balls and Graham Hume’s 36 Warriors scored 70 from the last nine overs.
Tector actually outscored Kevin O’Brien who was out almost immediately after scoring his 27th List A half-century, with only three fours and a six, but it was all about keeping wickets intact and the Warriors bowlers created only one chance, Tector dropped at point off Hume on three! That’s what you call making a team pay!
Scores: North West Warriors 205-8 (50 overs, G Kennedy 46, W Smale 45, G Hume 36, N McGuire 34; C Campher 4-46, G Dockrell 2-28, S Singh 1-24, P Chase 1-46)
Leinster Lightning 136-1 (26.5 overs, J Tector 76 not out, K O’Brien 51; A McBrine 1-24).
Lightning won by 62 runs (DLS).