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WARRIORS RELISHING INTERPRO FINALE

Ian McGregor cut a frustrated figure this weekend as the Test Triangle Interprovincial T20 competition was abandoned without a ball bowled in any of the scheduled matches. The washout meant that it was the Northern Knights who claimed the trophy by virtue of winning the two games they played out of their scheduled six. That was one more than the North West Warriors who ended the competition with a record of one defeat (against the Knights) with the other five abandoned.

The Head Coach was realistic about the outcome and preferred instead to look ahead to what he referred to as “three huge games” between now and the end of the season.

“It’s impossible to weigh up the T20 campaign considering we only played one match. These things happen- the ground staff at both venues work exceptionally hard to try to get games in, but it’s been one of those summers” he began.

“You just draw a line under it and move on because we’re still very much in contention in the other two formats.”

“We head back to Dublin on Thursday for a 50-over game against Leinster Lightning and are then in Eglinton the following Monday against the Knights. It’s a big ask, but we know that two wins in those games would put us right in the mix.”

“There’s a very short turnaround before our final match of the season, a 3-dayer against the Knights at Bready gets under way on Tuesday morning. After our draw at North County last week, the last game is something of a winner-takes-all, so it’s good that our season is going right down to the wire with a chance of winning both trophies.”

The Warriors of course are the reigning champions in the First Class format; something McGregor feels can stand his side in good stead both in the coming weeks and going forward.

“Leinster Lightning have set the standard in the early years of Interpro competition and it was up to the rest of us to bridge the gap. In that 3-day draw recently, we went there minus Boyd Rankin, Davy Scanlon and Stuart Thompson- three of the best seam bowlers in the tournament- and bowled Lightning out for 130 ”

“Craig Young is bowling as well as I have ever seen him and Graham Hume has come into the set-up and made it look like he’s always been there. Ryan Macbeth did very well when he got his chance and Graham Kennedy is turning into something of a ‘golden arm’ for us. In all honesty, I believe we have the best seam options in the Interpros.”

William Porterfield heads up a batting order that has struggled for consistency this summer but McGregor is hopeful that Will Smale can show his worth before the trophies are handed out at the end of the month.

“Will hasn’t had the chance to show what he can do with the bat- he was run out in the Leinster game right at the start of his innings before the T20’s were hit by rain, but his time will come. That said, we’ve had him in the Ireland under-19 set-up for a while now so I’m fully aware of his ability and potential already.”

“Confidence can be a big thing for batsmen but we aren’t short on quality in that department either. The boys are well aware of what we can still achieve this season and the spirit in the camp remains really high.”

McGregor is aware of the irony that he now needs the weather to behave over the closing weeks of the season if his side are to give themselves a chance in the trophy hunt.

“It’s one of those things, and given the way the summer has gone so far it’s difficult to imagine we’re going to get five days of glorious sunshine. We can’t play the weather however- we just have to turn up and try make sure we do our part.”

“The fact that our opponents will all have something to play for might help the prospects of game time, particularly in the three-day match against the Knights. A win there for either side would earn them the title so at least it should be a fascinating end to the Interprovincial summer.”

Warriors name squad for Lightning clash

The North West Warriors have named their 12-man squad for Thursday’s penultimate Interprovincial Cup game against Leinster Lightning at North County.

There are no surprises in the panel although Ryan Macbeth is a little unfortunate to miss out from the 13 selected for the ill-fated T20 series. That however shows the quality of seam options currently available to Ian McGregor as his side heads south in good spirits.

The Warriors need a win to keep alive their involvement in the race for honours. They then take on the Northern Knights on Monday at Eglinton knowing that a win in both of those games could be enough to claim the trophy, although it is a big ask.

Action at Balrothery gets under way at 10.45 am.

The squad in full is-

Andy McBrine (captain)

William Porterfield

Will Smale

Craig Young

Marcus Poskitt

David Rankin

Aaron Gillespie

Ross Allen

Graham Hume

David Scanlon

Graham Kennedy

Stuart Thompson

Ardmore Claim Eric Cooke Cup

It took a change of venue and a bowl-out in the end but Ardmore claimed the first of three trophies they are competing for when they won the Eric Cooke Cup at a sodden Beechgrove on Sunday. Peter Harrigan’s men secured the trophy on a 2-0 scoreline after Gary Neely and Decker Curry were on target for them, while the Foxies didn’t manage a strike in reply.

It wasn’t a great way to decide the tournament however having been moved from waterlogged Strabane Park on Saturday evening the rain followed the teams down the road, and the umpires were left with little option but to abandon.

Caolan Young was presented with the Performance of the Tournament award for his 5-13 against Burndennett in the Group stages.
The Bleachgreen side are in cup action again this weekend when they play Newbuildings in the Sam Jeffrey decider at Fox Lodge starting on Friday.

Women’s League returns on Monday night- Emma Doherty previews

Despite the harsh rain, the Women’s League is looking to return this Monday night at 6:30pm.

The Strabane Saints will make the trek to Eglinton and will clash with them for the first time this season. What seems so far like a tame season for the Saints, it will be interesting to see the outcome of this match.

Elsewhere, League Leaders Burndennett will travel to Killyclonney to face the cup finalists. Whilst the cup final has been postponed, hopefully this match will be the one to set the tone.

Finally, Jemma Rankin’s team will host the Foxies. Bready are currently second in the league with Foxlodge nipping at their heels for the silverware.

Monday Nights Fixtures:
Eglinton V Strabane
Killyclooney V Burndennett
Bready V Foxlodge

Details of Coaching Kids ‘5-11 years’ Course Announced

The NWCU is delivering the Cricket Ireland Certified Coaching Kids 5-11 years course for those aged 14+ supporting cricketers aged 5-11 years. The course is designed to provide new and emerging coaches with the knowledge and skills to deliver child-centred, safe, fun, and age-appropriate coaching sessions.

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PORTERFIELD CLASS NOSES WARRIORS AHEAD

More rain brought another early finish to proceedings at North County as the North West Warriors earned a modest lead over Leinster Lightning in their ongoing Test Triangle Interprovincial Championship clash. For the second day running there was no play after tea with the visitors 168-9; a lead of 37 going into Wednesday’s third and final sessions.

Ian McGregor’s charges will be bitterly disappointed not to be in more control of affairs having been 105-1 earlier in the day after William Porterfield and Ross Allen had set an excellent platform. The latter was first out, lbw to Josh Little for 27, and although Aaron Gillespie added 15, his dismissal, lbw to the impressive Barry McCarthy, brought about a middle-order collapse.

Within 10 overs the Warriors had slumped to 119-7, however the Ireland skipper was standing firm. Porterfield and Graham Hume (20) added 42 for the 8th wicket to give their side some sort of lead with the former showing all of his class to fend off a rampant home attack. At stumps, the Ireland opener was unbeaten on 95 (9 fours, 2 sixes) although it is now down to Ryan Macbeth tomorrow morning to help him get to three figures.

McCarthy was outstanding for Lightning as he returned figures of 5-51 although Simi Singh’s 2-36 from 25 overs was an excellent contribution.

The Warriors would have obviously been hoping for a healthier lead having bowled their hosts out for 131 this morning- Craig Young (4-26) and Hume (3-34) tidying up early on- however with the North West side still to play the Northern Knights in the season finale, a draw here would be no bad result.

WARRIORS NAME SQUAD FOR INTERPRO T20 FESTIVAL

The North West Warriors have named a 13-man squad for this weekend’s Test Triangle Interprovincial T20 festival which runs from Friday to Sunday at Bready CC.

There are three changes to the squad that is currently contesting the Chanmpionship game in Dublin- Stuart Thompson returning following a recent bereavement while Bready duo Davy Scanlon and Marcus Poskitt come in with Brendon Louw and Tommy Orr making way.

This weekend’s Blitz is the start of another busy period for the Warriors but it should be an intriguing three days for local cricket supoorters.

The Northern Knights hold the upper hand in the race to win the trophy after they won all three of their games in the first half which was held earlier in the summer at Pembroke CC .

The other sides all lost games to the weather that weekend with the Warriors faring worst of all- two of their scheduled trio of matches falling to the elements.

Organisers will be hoping for better luck this time with plenty for eceryone across the three days.

The North West squad and full fixture schedule for this weekend is as folliws-

A McBrine
W Porterfield
S Thompson
C Young
D Rankin
A Gillespie
G Kennedy
W Smale
G Hume
R Allen
D Scanlon
M Poskitt
R MacBeth

Matches
Fri 16th August
North Knights v Leinster Lightning 11.30am start
NWW v Munster Reds 4pm start

Sat 17th August
Munster Reds v Northern Knights 11.30am start
NWW v Leinster Lightning 4pm start

Sun 18th August
Leinster Lightning v Munster Reds 11.30am start
NWW v Northern Knights 4pm start

BATTLING WARRIORS FORCE THE PACE IN DUBLIN

Less than 43 overs play was possible on Day 1 of the Interprovincial Championship game between Leinster Lightning and the North West Warriors at North County today, but that was still enough time for the visitors to prove that they hadn’t come to admire the scenery around Balrothery. When rain brought a premature end to the day’s proceedings around teatime, the hosts had been reduced to 119-8, courtesy of an excellent display from the quintet of bowlers used by Ian McGregor’s charges.

The North West side had to do without Stuart Thompson (bereavement) having earlier been robbed of the services of Boyd Rankin for the remainder of the season, but they made light of that as Craig Young (3-26) and Graham Hume (2-26) opened up the Dubliners’ batting order. Young bowled Jack Tector in the very first over while Hume accounted for the dangerous Balbirnie soon after.

Simi Singh fared best of the Lightning line-up before he was run out by William Porterfield’s direct hit for 29, while there were cameos from Lorcan Tucker (19) and Stephen Doheny (16). Tyrone Kane remains unbeaten on 13 overnight but it was definitely the bowlers’ day with Ryan Macbeth and Graham Kennedy picking up a wicket each.

Skipper Andy McBrine only sent down 6 overs and while he remains wicket-less for now, he conceded just 8 runs to keep the pressure on the batsmen. Special mention too for Will Smale who marked his Warriors debut by picking up 5 dismissals behind the stumps.

A good start for the Championship holders then, and they will be hoping to keep the pressure on when battle is re-joined on Tuesday morning,

Saturday round-up

It’s a short round-up tonight with most of today’s games postponed and we’d like to start by sending condolences to the Thompson family on the recent passing of Oliver. Eglinton’s game against Glendermott was called off last night as a mark of respect at the agreement of both teams.

Today’s matches between Donemana and Brigade and Ballyspallen v Strabane were abandoned due to heavy overnight rain, however the Union would also like to send very best wishes to our friend “Lofty” up at the Holm.

Coleraine have made the relegation scrap very interesting after they hammered Bready at Sandel Lodge. A brilliant 86 not out from Graham Hume helped the Bannsiders post 180 and the South African, Stephen Hutchinson and Rishi Chopra all claimed 3 wickets apiece as Bready were bowled out for 67 in reply, with Irosh getting 46 of those.

In the Championship, Ardmore took over at the top of the table after they ended Burndennett’s 9-game winning run. The home side made 197-9 with Salman Ahmed making 86, however the target was reduced to 166 in 30 overs after rain. 44 from Peet Pienaar, 41 from Ryan Brolly and a quick 36 not out from Jared Wilson helped the Bleachgreen side to a 5-wicket win.

The only other game played was at Newbuildings where the home side made 160 and bowled St Johnston out for 143 to win by 17 runs.

Don’t forget tomorrow’s T20 finals day at Strabane starting at 12 noon.

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