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Northern Knights to Play Western Warriors of Scotland

Richard White

Northern Knights will complete their preparations for the forthcoming 2017 Hanley Energy Inter-Provincial Series with challenge games against the Western Warriors from Scotland.

Two T20 matches will be played at Shaw's Bridge on Tuesday April 25th, followed by a 50 over contest the following day at the same venue. The Northern Knights will be playing as close to a full strength side for two of the games, with an Emerging Knights contesting one of the T20's.

Northern Knights coach Simon Johnston talking about the upcoming fixtures said, 'We are delighted to be hosting the Western Warriors for three pre season games. One of my main objectives coming into the role this year was to create more playing fixtures not just for the Knights but for the Emerging players as well. This enables those on the fringes an opportunity to showcase their skills and hopefully break into the senior ranks. These fixtures are ideal and hopefully will become an annual event with us playing the Warriors home and away.  A massive thank you must go to Keith Young and Con de Lange from the Warriors for all their work in making these fixtures happen. Also to Instonians Cricket Club and Shaws Bridge for agreeing to host these important games so early in the season'.

The Western Warriors, alongside the Caledonian Highlanders and Eastern Knights make up the three team Regional Series in Scotland. The Warriors are based at Titwood (home of Clydesdale Cricket Club) in the Pollockshields district of Glasgow.

One of the Western Warriors key players is Richie Berrington the versatile all-rounder and a central player within the Scotland team. Berrington's record is studded with match-winning performances, most notably a 56-ball T20 hundred which powered Scotland to victory against Bangladesh in 2012. He remains the only Scottish player to have registered hundreds in both forms of limited overs cricket.

Northern Cricket Union Chairman Alan Waite sees co-operation between the two regional sides as a positive influence for Northern Knights cricket. He stated, 'It is a great opportunity to develop links with the Western Warriors in Scotland. In this exciting season for Irish cricket with the establishment of a First Class regional competition it is imperative for the future development of the Northern Knights to create additional cricketing experiences for our players. This will be mutually beneficial for both teams and it is a venture that we hope to expand over the coming seasons for all age levels.'

Cricket Scotland's National Performance Coach, Toby Bailey said, 'This pre-season fixture between the Western Warriors and the Northern Knights will provide both teams a chance to test themselves before their domestic campaigns start. Con De Lange has been working hard with the Warriors squad over the last couple of years, and now the young players coming through are beginning to contribute at a higher level. The Warriors will be looking to stamp their mark on the Scottish Regional Series this season and this early opportunity in Belfast will give their players and team a great platform for success in 2017'.