The Northern Knights will enter today’s final Test Triangle Inter-Provincial Twenty20 Festival match in Pembroke against Leinster Lightning with the aim of completing a clean sweep.
After two victories in as many days against the North West Warriors and Munster Reds, a victory over the much-fancied home favourites would ensure Simon Johnston’s men sit top of the Inter-Provincial Trophy heading into the second festival in Bready in August.
It was the bowlers who stole the show on Saturday against the Warriors - in particular Shane Getkate who produced stunning figures of 5-8 from 3.2 overs to help reduce their North West opposition to 78 all out.
The North West innings never got going at any stage with Graeme McCarter claiming the early wicket of Stuart Thompson before Getkate got to work dismissing Aaron Gillespie and then captain Andy McBrine to leave the Warriors 40-3 after nine overs.
Instonians all-rounder Getkate would also claim the scalps of Ross Allen, Kyle Magee and Varun Chopra to round out what was a superb bowling display from the Knights with Mark Adair, Harry Tector and James Cameron-Dow all claiming a wicket apiece.
As expected, the Knights chased the small total down with minimal fuss as James McCollum (42*) and Getkate (27) put on 42 for the first wicket inside five overs before the latter was the first of Boyd Rankin’s two victims.
McCollum, who has been thriving at Inter-Provincial level for the past couple of years, scored his runs off just 31 balls to ease his side to a seven-wicket triumph.
Getkate would again be the main man for the Knights on Sunday against the Reds, scoring 49 from 38 balls and collecting figures of 4-27 to help secure another win, this time by a margin of 32 runs.
Batting first, the Knights reached 167/6 with late cameos from Waringstown captain Greg Thompson (37) and Adair (33) supporting Getkate’s knock to set a more than competitive total.
In reply, Adair (4-22) also helped reduce the Reds, who only lost to Leinster off the final ball of the innings on Saturday, to 135 all out with Stephen Doheny (35) top-scoring.
It would be an outstanding achievement if the Knights are able to see out the Festival with three consecutive wins considering the standard of opposition they are coming up against.
Looking at the compilation of their current squad, it appears they have all bases covered with the destructive batting of McCollum, Thompson and Getkate supported with high-level bowling in the shape of McCarter, Adair & Co.
It is certainly an exciting time to be a Knights fan and they’ll be looking to carry this sort of form and momentum into all three competitions and build on the foundations that have been set in recent years.
Their clash with Leinster, who are led by CIYMS captain and former Knights player Nigel Jones, will get underway at 4pm.
The Lightning have won all four Trophy matches contested between the two sides, including a 27-run victory last time out.