Leinster Lightning has today announced an extended squad of 14 players for the third and final IP T20 Festival which takes place at North Down CC from Friday 17th to Sunday 19th September.
The squad reflects various availability challenges with key players being rested or part-rested following the recent International Series with Zimbabwe.
Peter Chase also remains side-lined as he continues his recovery from the injury which has kept him out for most of the season.
The extended squad is dominated by players from Pembroke, YMCA and Phoenix who in aggregate make up 11 of the 14 selected. There are call-ups for both Theo Lawson (Pembroke) and Tom Stanton (Merrion) who have both been stand-out performers at club level this season. Lawson first played for Leinster Lightning when the IP competitions were relaunched back in 2013 whilst Stanton made his debut during the 2017 season.
Theo Lawson has been the top batsman in Leinster senior club cricket for 2021 (with an average of over 65 including five 50s) and has been the main-stay of Pembroke’s successful campaign in reaching the Premier League Final last Saturday. Tom Stanton has just captained Merrion to a Senior League & Cup Double for their first time since 1940 and in doing so has picked up 24 wickets at 13 runs apiece.
The selectors have also included Mikey O’Reilly from YMCA, an exciting left-arm seamer who has had another good season for both his club and the Leinster Lightning Bolts in the Future Series. Mikey also won the Leinster Individual Bowling Award (O’Grady Cup) for 2020 so he has been building towards this for some time.
Nigel Jones, Leinster Lightning Head Coach & Pathway Manager commented as follows:
“We head into this final IP T20 Festival weekend with an exciting and youthful look to our squad. Undoubtably the Irish schedule has impacted upon player availability, however it’s a glass half full situation for us as well. This weekend gives us an opportunity to further reward performances from across both the Future Series (Bolts) and club cricket environments, where a number of those selected this weekend have performed consistently this season.
I look forward to the challenge of us playing our best Cricket across the three matches and giving ourselves a chance to stay in the hunt come Sunday!”
Leinster Lightning are in second place in the table following the first two Festivals earlier in the summer (at Pembroke and Bready) and face a challenging task to overcome the North West Warriors who have a 4 point advantage going into this final round of fixtures.
Leinster Lightning is sponsored by LHW Financial Planning whose logo appears on the playing kit - the support of LHW Financial Planning is hugely appreciated by players, management and fans alike.
It has already been a good year for the province with Leinster Lightning having won the IP50 competition earlier in the summer for a record 8th time whilst the Leinster Lightning Bolts also won the inaugural IP Future Series remaining unbeaten throughout the competition.
LEINSTER LIGHTNING SQUAD FOR IP20 FESTIVAL (NORTH DOWN, 17-19 SEPTEMBER)
George Dockrell (Phoenix), Captain
Lorcan Tucker (Pembroke), Vice-Captain
Jack Tector (YMCA)
Kevin O’Brien (Railway Union)
Simi Singh (YMCA)*
David O’Halloran (Malahide)
Gavin Hoey (Pembroke)
Josh Little (Pembroke)*
Jamie Grassi (Phoenix)
JJ Garth (Pembroke)
Rory Anders (YMCA)
Theo Lawson (Pembroke)
Tom Stanton (Merrion)
Mikey O’Reilly (YMCA)
* Will only play 2 of the scheduled fixtures
Head Coach: Nigel Jones/Assistant Coach: Brian O’Rourke
T20 FESTIVAL FIXTURES AT COMBER FOR LEINSTER LIGHTNING
Friday 17th – Leinster Lightning v Munster Reds (3.00pm)
Saturday 18th – Leinster Lightning v Northern Knights (10.30am)
Sunday 19th – Leinster Lightning v North West Warriors (3.00pm)