After a second day of contrasting fortunes, North have been left to score a daunting 299 runs on the third and final day of the North v South match to win the historic annual encounter.
Starting the day at 35 for 2, the North slumped to 93 for 8, thanks to some fine off-spin bowling by South captain Billy MacDermott, and still 210 runs ahead the South first innings total of 303 for 9 declared, it looked like the game was firmly in the hands of the South.
However a composed innings of 54 from Alejandro Ferguson, in 136 minutes, off 140 balls, with 5 fours, and some valuable unorthodox support from tail-ender Martin Hemmingsen, who made 20, in a 52 run ninth wicket partnership, breathed some life into the North cause at lunch.
South struck back, removing the last two wickets immediately after lunch, and North were all out for 146, giving South a sizeable first innings lead of 157 runs. MacDermott ended with impressive figures of 5 for 48 in 19,4 overs, with good support coming from seamer Diego Lord, who claimed 2 for 19 in 12 overs.
Firmly in the driving seats, South did not enforce the follow on, but once again the pendulum swung and North struck back, reducing South to 24 for 4, and even with the big first innings deficit, the game was back in the balance.
Again though veteran South African Grant Dugmore steered South some way out of troubled waters, with the key partnership that with MacDermott for the 7th wicket which yielded 63 runs, and took South from 82 for 6 to a reasonable position of 145 for 7. Bernardo Irigoyen had earlier weighed in with a rapid 27 off 15 balls, with 5 fours, while MacDermott made 17 in 43 minutes off 62 balls, with one boundary, and when the declaration came at 175 for 8, Dugmore was undefeated on 83, scored off 139 balls in 175 minutes.
Pick of the North bowlers was once again off-spinner Michael Quinn, who finished with 3 for 48 in 18 overs, although seamer Gary Savage also bowled impressively to take 4 for 58 in his 17 overs.
Thus North were set 333 runs to win the 111th North v South, and made a positive start by ending the day on 34 without loss in the 5 overs bowled before close of play, mostly thanks an aggressive Conway Young, who will resume tomorrow on 28 not out, made in just 17 balls.
So day three will see North looking for another 299 runs, and South intent on picking up all 10 North wickets. It certainly promises to be a great final day of what has been thus far an absorbing three-day contest.
Play starts at 10:30am local time, with a minimum of 105 overs to be bowled before the scheduled close of play at 6:15pm.