It was an all-too-familiar story at Malahide on Wednesday as Leinster Lightning turned the screw on the second day of their Newstalk Inter-Provincial Championship game against the North West Warriors, leaving Andy McBrine’s men with a testing final day ahead of them to save the contest.
The morning began with Max Sorensen and Albert van der Merwe adding 25 more to the overnight total of 299 for 9- that 10th wicket partnership finally worth a shattering 134 runs as the hosts closed on 324 all out.
Sorensen was the man dismissed, run out for a marvellous 86 while van der Merwe was unbeaten on 54 as the Warriors wilted.
Warriors coach Bobby Rao needed a big statement from his top order as the reply began but, not for the first time, his batsmen were found wanting.
Two early wickets for John Mooney and one apiece for Sorensen and Eddie Richardson reduced the visitors to 36 for 4, but despite a mini-revival their session was to end on another bad note as skipper Andy McBrine gave van der Merwe the charge, missed, and was stumped by Fintan McAllister for 25.
It would have been a quiet table at lunch, the Warriors still 96 runs short of saving the follow-on with just five wickets in hand.
To be fair they did show the necessary application after the break,with Bready’s Ernest Kemm holding the innings together adding 33 with Andew Riddles (29) and then 37 with Johnny Thompson (21).
It still required a 32-run 9th wicket stand between Kemm and his Bready team-mate Craig Young (18) to prevent the Warriors from going straight back in however, their short revival ending with Young’s frustrating run out.
Kemm was the one shining light in an otherwise fairly average showing with the bat, the South African hitting 5 fours in his very patient 55 as the Warriors were dismissed for 188, 136 runs in arrears.
Mooney (3-34) was the pick of the Lightning attack although van der Merwe (2-24), Sorensen (2-45) and Richardson (2-50) were on the money as well.
With 32 overs play left in the day Lightning then went about giving their visitors a mountain to climb on Thursday’s third and final day.
Bill Coghlan and Fintan McAllister got them on their way with a 64-run opening stand, with the Clontarf man setting the tone with 8 fours in his 36.
McAllister was happy to anchor however and he and Patrick Collins took it through to the close- 50 and 29 not out respectively in a total of 116 for 1, a lead of 252.
The key now will be how long to bat for tomorrow and whether or not the Warriors’ top order can step up to the mark and deny Lightning what looks like another convincing win.
NEWSTALK INTER-PROVINCIAL CHAMPIONSHIP
At Malahide, Day 2 close of play
324 all out (109 overs), M Sorensen 86, B Coghlan 61, A van der Merwe 54*, C McLoughlin 30, C Young 4-91, S Thompson 2-45, E Kemm 2-56) and 116-1 (32 overs, F McAllister 50*, B Coghlan 36, P Collins 29*)
NORTH WEST WARRIORS
188 all out (65.4 overs), E Kemm 55*, A Riddles 29, A McBrine 25, J Thompson 21, J Mooney 3-34, A van der Merwe 2-24, M Sorensen 2-45, E Richardson 2-50.)
Leinster Lightning lead by 252 runs with 9 wickets remaining.