A partnership of 138 between Andy McBrine and Graeme McCarter ensured the NW Warriors remain on top of the Hanley Energy Inter-Provincial Championship table after their match with Northern Knights petered out into a tame draw at Bready on Tuesday.
Resuming on 98 for 6, the Warriors were soon in difficulty once again facing James Cameron-Dow who dismissed both Kyllin Varhan (44) and Ricky-Lee Dougherty (1) in quick succession to leave them floundering on 121 for 8.
Skipper Andy McBrine and Graeme McCarter rescued their side with a superb 9th wicket stand of 138 - the seventh highest since the inter-provincial series was revived in 2013.
Both batsmen employed excellent shot selection, mixing up stubborn defence with occasional aggression. They also ran superbly between the wickets, as first they passed the Knights’ total of 167, going on to secure what could be three vital batting points as they reached a final total of 264.
McBrine top scored with 76 from 143 balls (6 fours, 2 sixes), while McCarter’s 72 occupied just 108 deliveries (5 fours, 3 sixes).
James Cameron-Dow dismissed both to finish with the remarkable analysis of 8 for 98 - the best bowlling figures in the competition - beating his own previous best of 7 for 107 also against the Warriors at Eglinton last year.
With a lead of 97, the Warriors were in with a theoretical chance of forging a win, and those hopes were boosted by the early wickets of Chris Dougherty (17) and James Shannon (4).
However a classy unbeaten 62 from South African professional Rassie van der Dussen ended their slim chances. The CIYMS overseas professional struck seven fours and a six in his 115 ball innings.
He shared an unbroken 3rd wicket stand of 65 with Lee Nelson (32*) to take the Knights to 124 for 2 when the teams shook hands on the draw.
The Warriors top the table on 30 points having played three matches, ahead of the Knights who have 16 from two. Defending champions Leinster Lightning have 6.5 points from their only game played to date.
The Warriors and the Knights meet again tomorrow (Friday) for an IP T20 Trophy game - action at Belmont gets under way at 5pm.