Leinster’s depth gives them the edge at College Park
North West include two professionals for three-day opener
Leinster Lightning player-coach Trent Johnston will sit out the RSA Inter-Provincial Championship match against North West Warriors at College Park. Photograph: Ryan Byrne/Inpho
The road to gaining first-class status for the RSA Inter-Provincial Championship is set to get underway in second-rate weather conditions at College Park in Dublin this morning when Leinster Lightning host North West Warriors (11.0am).
A mixed weather forecast moving from sunny spells to hail and even thunder is not ideal for the opening of the three-day competition, which marks the North West’s debut.
Warriors coach Bobby Rao has decided to take up the option of using two overseas professionals, with South African Ramano Ramoo of Bready and Donemana’s Pakistani all-rounder Kamran Sajid both included in a 12-man squad. Ireland international Stuart Thompson misses out due to exams.
Leinster are missing opening batsman Andrew Balbirnie for the same reason, with coach Trent Johnston calling up two in-form players in Railway Union’s Patrick Collins and tall Clontarf opener Bill Coghlan.
Johnston will sit out the game after playing in the one-day victory over the Northern Knights, but even in his absence Leinster look to have more depth in both their batting and bowling.
Leinster Lightning (squad): Kevin O’Brien (Railway Union, capt), Ben Ackland (Merrion), John Anderson (Merrion), Bill Coghlan (Clontarf), Patrick Collins (Railway Union), Alex Cusack (Clontarf), Tyrone Kane (Merrion), Fintan McAllister (Malahide, wkts), Andrew Poynter (Clontarf), Eddie Richardson (North County), Max Sorensen (The Hills), Albert van der Merwe (YMCA).
North West Warriors (squad): Iftikhar Hussain (Fox Lodge, capt), David Barr (Bready), Scott Campbell (Coleraine), Peter Connell (Strabane), Ricky-Lee Dougherty (Donemana, wkts), Andy McBrine (Donemana), Niall McDonnell (Coleraine), David Rankin (Bready), Romano Ramoo (Bready), Andrew Riddles (Ardmore), Kamran Sajid (Donemana), Johnny Thompson (Brigade).