WHILE David Delany was bowling at his hostile best, Northern Knights scented victory and if Tyrone Kane had been caught when he had scored just a single, Leinster Lightning would have been three wickets from defeat.

Instead from 179-6, Kane went on to hit 31 in a stand of 65 with Simi Singh and when the seventh wicket eventually did fall, Lightning were just two runs from a third successive victory.

It had been the almost perfect plan. Skipper Gary Wilson called for a helmet for Neil Rock to field five yards from the bat at short leg.Delany's next ball, predictably, was short, it took Kane’s bat as he fended it away but it went seven yards away, tantalisingly out of Rock’s reach and Delany or Knights wouldn’t come as close again.

Until Delany returned for his second spell it had all gone to form.

(Lorcan Tucker scored 83: Pic Rodney Smythe)

Apart from James McCollum’s 60 from 77 balls and Rock’s attacking 48 from just 36 at the end of the Knights’ innings, the Lightning bowlers were in control with George Dockrell’s left arm spin and Josh Little’s left arm pace proving a lethal combination.

A total of 240-9 was below par and despite Knights taking four wickets in the first half of the Lightning reply, including Jack Tector - top scorer in the title-sealing victory against the North West Warriors last Tuesday - first ball, the hosts were halfway to their target and Singh had just joined Lorcan Tucker who was 62 not out.

The Ireland internationals added another 50 in nine overs, including a stunning extra cover drive on the up from Tucker to welcome Mark Adair back to the crease for his second spell.

It wasn’t to be Adair’s day but he did have the last laugh on Tucker when the wicket-keeper holed out to long leg 17 short of his century.

By now Delany was back at the pavilion end and it wasn’t coincidence that Tucker had been dismissed five balls after he had pulled a ball from the Clontarf paceman onto his helmet.

Greg Ford was the next batsman and immediately in trouble, trying to fend off the short, sharp deliveries. He lasted only five balls before tamely hitting straight to mid-on.

Five was definitely the number at this stage because it was Kane’s fifth ball which just went over Rock’s head but Carl Robinson, who, on his Knights' debut took the wicket of Curtis Campher, was hit by Singh for a six and a four in the next over and the pressure was off.

MATCH SCORECARD

Northern Knights 1st Innings 240/9 Closed (Overs 50)

Batsman Fieldsman Bowler Runs Min Bls 4s 6s
MP Ellison lbw b JB Little 1 8 4 0 0
JA McCollum st LJ Tucker b Simi Singh 60 111 77 5 1
HT Tector c Simi Singh b TE Kane 20 54 39 2 0
GC Wilson*+   b PKD Chase 22 53 38 2 0
R Pretorius   b GH Dockrell 17 38 24 2 0
SC Getkate lbw b GH Dockrell 22 51 40 1 1
MR Adair c JB Little b Simi Singh 15 37 20 1 0
NA Rock c TE Kane b PKD Chase 48 52 36 4 1
DCA Delany c LJ Tucker b JB Little 18 23 21 0 0
GJ McCarter not out   2 13 2 0 0
C Robinson not out   0 2 0 0 0
extras   (b0 lb4 w10 nb1) 15        
TOTAL   9 wickets for 240        
FOW
1-2(MP Ellison) 2-48(HT Tector) 3-107(JA McCollum) 4-107(GC Wilson)
5-141(R Pretorius) 6-155(SC Getkate) 7-187(MR Adair) 8-226(DCA Delany)
9-237(NA Rock)
Bowler Overs Maid Runs Wkts wd nb
PKD Chase 8 1 46 2 3 1
JB Little 10 2 35 2 2 -
C Campher 6 0 28 0 - -
TE Kane 8 1 48 1 3 -
GH Dockrell 10 0 35 2 1 -
Simi Singh 8 0 44 2 - -

Leinster Lightning 1st Innings 243/7 Closed (Overs 43.1)

Batsman Fieldsman Bowler Runs Min Bls 4s 6s
KJ O'Brien lbw b MR Adair 11 7 6 2 0
JB Tector c GC Wilson b GJ McCarter 0 3 1 0 0
ST Doheny c GC Wilson b GJ McCarter 26 61 45 4 0
LJ Tucker+ c R Pretorius b MR Adair 83 139 84 8 1
C Campher c MP Ellison b C Robinson 16 43 35 1 0
Simi Singh not out   63 88 58 5 2
G Ford c MP Ellison b DCA Delany 0 7 5 0 0
TE Kane c SC Getkate b DCA Delany 31 40 25 4 0
GH Dockrell* not out   4 2 1 1 0
PKD Chase dnb            
JB Little dnb            
extras   (b0 lb6 w2 nb1) 9        
TOTAL   7 wickets for 243        
FOW
1-7(JB Tector) 2-11(KJ O'Brien) 3-79(ST Doheny) 4-122(C Campher) 5-172(LJ Tucker)
6-174(G Ford) 7-239(TE Kane)
Bowler Overs Maid Runs Wkts wd nb
GJ McCarter 10 1 48 2 - -
MR Adair 9.1 1 46 2 1 -
R Pretorius 4 0 20 0 - 1
DCA Delany 10 0 62 2 - -
SC Getkate 4 0 19 0 - -
C Robinson 6 0 42 1 1 -