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MTB Emerging Knights - Review of Recent Future Series matches

Johnny Morton

Despite two defeats this week in the Future Series, there were still plenty of positives to take for the MTB Emerging Knights.

MTB Emerging Knights vs Leinster Lightning Bolts

On Wednesday, they took on unbeaten Leinster Lightning Bolts at The Lawn in a game that went right down to the wire. Requiring 13 runs to win off the final over in their pursuit of 284, Instonians batsman Cade Carmichael (80) struck a six second ball to give the Knights hope of pulling off a remarkable chase.
The 18-year-old was stumped next ball trying to repeat the feat, bringing an end to a glorious innings that included seven fours and three sixes during a 53-ball stay at the crease after coming in at number eight.

Ultimately, the Knights fell three runs short of their target in an entertaining game that produced three half-centuries and one hundred. Leinster had earlier won the toss and elected to bat with Jamie Grassi (30) and Conor Fletcher (54) putting on 70 for the first wicket before Cian Robertson (2-57) made an important breakthrough.

With the score sitting at 116-3 after 25 overs, JJ Garth walked to the crease and would go on to score 101 from 72 balls (9 fours, 4 sixes). He was caught off the bowling of Matthew Foster (2-54) while there were also wickets for CJ van der Walt (2-38), Max Burton (1-48) and Ben Mackey (1-36). Burton (34) has been in super form for Cliftonville Academy with the bat this season and opened alongside Oliver Metcalfe (79).

The pair wasted no time in getting to work, reaching 43-0 before Burton – who scored his runs off 25 balls – was caught off the bowling of Mikey O'Reilly. Bolts bowler Amish Sidhu (5-29) was proving difficult to handle, picking up three quick wickets when introduced into the attack, but Metcalfe marched on and brought up his half-century from 51 deliveries.

He was caught with 109 still required from 15 overs but with just three wickets in hand and Carmichael almost pulled off a brilliant win. They would fall just three runs short of their target but it was yet another encouraging performance against a quality and experienced Bolts outfit.

Result: Leinster Lightning Bolts beat MTB Emerging Knights by 3 runs.
Bolts 283/8 – JJ Garth 101, C Fletcher 54, F Tucker 41, CJ van der Walt 2-38, M Foster 2-54, C Robertson 2-57
Knights 280ao – C Carmichael 80, O Metcalfe 79, A Sidhu 5-29, M Thompson 2-54

MTB Emerging Knights vs Ireland Under-19s

Head coach Simon Johnston made wholesale changes for Thursday's encounter against the Irish Under-19s at Middle Road, Carrickfergus with a number of young stars who performed in the recent Youth Inter-Provincials getting an opportunity. Ireland Under-19s won the toss and elected to bat but the Knights put them under immediate pressure as Cade Carmichael picked up the early wickets of Nathan McGuire (7) and Instonians team-mate Jack Dickson (2).

They were able to rebuild through captain Tim Tector (67) and Raymond Curry (23), but Harry Dyer – who captained the NCU to the U15 title last week – was introduced into the attack and bowled the latter. There would be a further two half-centuries from the talented Philippe Le Roux (60) and Robbie Millar (66) which helped push their side up to 270/8 from their 45 overs.

Metcalfe (2) fell early but Ryan Hunter (19) - who scored two consecutive centuries for the NCU U15 side – was joined by CSNI team-mate Archie Johnston (36) and the pair put on 56 for the second wicket. Paddy Beverland (33) was called into the side and fresh off a weekend Premier League century against Carrickfergus, the batsman was again in fine touch before being bowled by David Vincent.

The Knights found themselves 152/7 when captain Matthew Humphreys (30) joined Carson McCullough (31) at the crease, and the duo put on 63 for the eighth wicket to push their side over 200. They ended on 219 all out in 41.2 overs but Simon Johnston will be delighted that he was able to see 20 young stars in action across the two days.

Result: Ireland Under-19s beat MTB Emerging Knights by 51 runs
Ireland Under-19s 270/8 – T Tector 67, R Millar 66, P Le Roux 60, C Carmichael 3-48, C Robertson 2-33
Knights 219ao – A Johnston 36, P Beverland 33, C McCullough 31, M Humphreys 30, D Vincent 4-48, D Burke 3-33

The MTB Emerging Knights are back in action on Wednesday with a 45-over clash against Munster Heat in North Kildare before two Twenty20 fixtures at Middle Road on Friday against Ireland Under-19s (11am) and Emerging Warriors (3pm).