It’s honours even after an intriguing second day’s play in the Newstalk Inter-Provincial Championship game between the North West Warriors and Northern Knights at Eglinton.
Chasing 269 for victory, the Knights are 152 for 5, with the Warriors claiming what could be the pivotal wicket of Nikolai Smith - a substitute batsman for the injured James Shannon - for a well played 46 in the penultimate over of the day.
The second day was a much more even contest between bat and ball, after the bowler dominated day one had seen an incredible 23 wickets fall. 364 runs were scored in 119 overs, with 12 wickets falling.
Resuming on their overnight 38 for 3, the Warriors lost Ernest Kemm in the first over of the day, and Scott Campbell (18) shortly afterwards to be in real trouble at 49 for 5.
Irish internationals Stuart Thompson (50) and Andrew McBrine (32) added 76 for the 6th wicket, with Thompson striking five fours and two sixes in his 69 ball half-century.
Both fell in quick succession to the impressive North Down left-arm spinner James Cameron-Dow, who took 7-107 in the innings, to take his overall match total to 10-156.
Johnny Thompson (53) and Ricky-Lee Dougherty (50) shared a valuable 8th wicket stand of 87 to take the Warriors total up to 250.
The Knights chase started in positive fashion, with Nick Larkin (28) and Johnny Terrett (36) striking 12 boundaries between them in an opening stand of 56.
Larkin will be disappointed at his dismissal, charging Ernest Kemm only to be well stumped by Dougherty. McBrine (2-22) trapped Chris Dougherty lbw, while he also accounted for Terrett - sharply caught at first slip by Kemm.
Andrew White (13) was well caught behind by Dougherty off debutant Ross Allen, but Smith and teenager James McCollum (18*) blunted the Warriors attack in a solid stand of 46, before Smith departed just four minutes before the close of play.
That dismissal shifts the monentum back to the Warriors. It promises to be an exciting final day on Thursday with the Knights requiring a further 117 runs for victory, and the Warriors five wickets for their first Championship victory.
NEWSTALK INTER-PROVINCIAL CHAMPIONSHIP
At Eglinton, Day 2 close of play
NORTH WEST WARRIORS 137 and 250 all out (75.1 overs, J Thompson 53, S Thompson 50, RL Dougherty 50, A McBrine 32, J Cameron-Dow 7-107)
NORTHERN KNIGHTS 119 and 152/5 (59 overs, N Smith 46, J Terrett 26, N Larkin 28, A McBrine 2-22, E Kemm 2-39)
Play resumes on Day 3 at 11am