Dogged North West Warriors battle to draw with Leinster Lightning

Ed Joyce hit eight four and a six in his unbeaten innings at Oak Hill on Tuesday
Ed Joyce hit a superb 156 in his first innings for Leinster Lightning at Oak Hill

Niall O'Brien and Steve Lazars' superb fourth-wicket partnership of 132 earned North West Warriors an unlikely draw in the inter-pro with Leinster Lightning.

The visitors looked to be heading for certain defeat in Wicklow starting the day 86 runs behind on 44 for three.

The fourth-wicket stand got Warriors to a battling total of 296, setting Leinster a target of 167 runs to win.

They made a gallant effort reaching 123 after 16 overs but they were still 44 runs short with seven wickets in hand.

O'Brien and Lazars showed all of their experience in denying a determined Lightning attack, for whom George Dockrell was the star performer on the third and final day.

O'Brien top scored with 87 from 192 balls (13 fours), while Lazars made a defiant 62 from 119 deliveries.

Even after both were dismissed along with Andy McBrine, the Warriors middle order battled manfully, with determined resistance from Stuart Thompson (40), Johnny Thompson (25) and David Rankin (22).

Warriors were eventually dismissed in the 109th over, with Dockrell having the excellent figures of 6 for 67 in a marathon effort.

With a target of 167 in 17 overs, Lightning attacked from the off, Jack Tector top-scoring with an unbeaten 48 before the captains shook hands.

After three games there still has not been an outright victory in the competition but Lightning head the table on 21 points with the Northern Knights and North-West Warriors both on 19.

Hanley Energy Inter-Provincial Championship

North West Warriors (first innings) 235 (87.2 overs) A McBrine 67 and (second innings) 296 (108.4 overs): N O'Brien 87, S Lazars 62, G Dockrell 6-67

Leinster Lightning (first innings) 365-9 dec (101.3 overs): E Joyce 156, L Tucker 56, D Scanlon 3-79, A McBrine 3-91 and (second innings)123 for three (16 overs), J Tector 48 no, S Singh 27, S Thompson 2-17

Match drawn

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