The final series of matches in the T20 Trophy were interesting in many ways. We look at some of the main talking points coming out of a rain affected three days.
It was baffling to see so many Irish internationals watching from the sidelines rather than out in the middle. Cricket Ireland when they scheduled the series saw it as ideal preparations ahead of the T20 World Cup.
That was the theory for a ten-week break between the second and third series of games, but the reality is it didn't work.
The fact the World Cup squad had already been selected and named meant the games had a bit of an 'After the Lord Mayors Show'.
2. Grounds, facilities and weather
Damp ground conditions prevented three and a half of the games going ahead. In truth it looked as if it could have been four of the six games.
For once North Down and Comber got the worst of the Northern Ireland weather on Friday, meaning the torrential downpours left the ground in terrible condition.
It's a testament to the herculean efforts of all at The Green that the weekend wasn't a complete wipe-out.
Would more/better coverage and manpower have helped? What is needed by the host clubs.
This season saw more games played than normal, with a post-covid lockdown willingness from players to just play, plus a decent year weather wise.
It's not always like that, and I'd like to see more invested. It will pay off long-time.
Given the weather and the distance involved, I settled for watching the action from the live stream. I confess to be being truly alarmed by the lack of spectators at the games.
I initially thought they had reverted to playing the matches behind closed doors!
Is there no buy-in to the competition or the Northern Knights team? was it the timing of the games? Last season I went to a few matches at the Green when there were upwards of 500-600 spectators watching North Down taking on CIYMS.
Tough one to resolve. Paul Stirling is box office but maybe word had got round he wouldn't be playing?
I enjoyed the stream but found myself intrigued by the viewing figures which fluctuated from 2-3000 down to a couple of hundred, and not always reflecting the match situation.
I'm guessing the Indian Fantasy League competitors account for surges, but it's certainly puzzling.
The standard overall was quite good with some excellent individual displays throughout the abbreviated weekend.
Matt Ford was for me the stand-out performer, and his father may well be giving him a first cap in the green of Ireland next year.
There are quite a few South Africans in the tournament, and with their representation running into double digits, they could well field a team of their own.
Graham Hume has been a steady presence for the champions NW Warriors over the past three years, and it could be a race to see who gets capped first.
PJ Moor showed glimpses of his quality earlier in the campaign, and looks certain to be challenging Lorcan Tucker and Neil Rock for the gloves in 2022.
I've talked before about Murray Commins and his quality, so he too if successful in getting qualified could well be featuring too in the years ahead.
Adi Birrell back in 2002 talked about balance in squad selections, conscious of the fact that he could probably have fielded a team all born outside Ireland.
Let us hope that we don't get the balance wrong. I've made my views clear on the two South African teenagers currently called up to the Ireland Under 19 side that lost their opener yesterday against The Netherlands.
The pair did well, but who knows the damage done to team morale and spirit? As with all things, it will come to results. If they qualify then all will be forgiven in most quarters. However, it won't change for me the harm that has been done to the players who missed out.
The standard to me has definitely improved, with the levelling of resources enhancing the competition, but identity of at least two if not three of the Unions has been sacrificed.
Does it matter? Should it matter?
Leinster interestingly enough ended up fielding an entirely home grown 13 in their loss to Warriors. For once skipper George Dockrell wasn't able to get them out of trouble, as the absence of Andy Balbirnie, Barry McCarthy and Simi Singh proved too much.
5. Warriors win
The Warriors showed great character to bounce back from Saturday's mauling by Munster to inflict a similarly heavy defeat to Leinster.
Conor Olphert showed why he is highly rated by the Warriors, while Graham Kennedy's transformation to a left-arm spinner continues to be a success, and he too is surely not too far away from a debut cap.
Gary Wilson has impressed all with his coaching and work ethic and let us hope this is the start of a successful regeneration of cricket in the region.
William McClintock being capped is a good start. Let us hope others follow.