GEORGE DOCKRELL struck 55 not and was well supported by his bowlers as Leinster Lightning beat the table-topping North-West Warriors by 16 runs in a low-scoring duel on the final day of the second InterPro T20 festival at Bready in Co Tyrone.
Lightning had bounced back from a defeat by Munster Reds on Friday to thump the Northern Knights by 70 runs but the defending champions knew that anything other than another win would likely see the Warriors too far ahead to catch.
On a tricky pitch, skipper Dockrell was the only Lightning batsman to better 16 in a total of 127-8, as he hit five boundaries in a 44-ball innings, and crucially scrambled 14 from the final over to give his star-studded attack just enough runs to defend.
Barry McCarthy removed the Warriors’ top three but it was 19-year-old Gavin Hoey who provided the decisive spell with a top quality four overs of leg spin that contained a maiden and brought him two wickets for 12 runs, including Warriors top scorer William McClintock who hit the only sixes of the match in a run a ball 35.
The Pembroke youngster’s man-of-the-match performance came the day after his 53-year-old father Conor Hoey took his 300th wicket in senior cricket for Dublin University, some 26 years after winning his 42nd and last Ireland cap.
Simi Singh followed up with two wickets in an over and Kevin O’Brien held a wickedly difficult skier to get rid of Warriors skipper Andy McBrine, allowing Josh Little to close out the victory and set up an intriguing final festival in September with Lightning a win behind the leaders.