It wasn’t as straightforward as they expected but Northern Knights confirmed their dominance of this season’s T20 inter-provincials with a victory which puts them within one point of the title, with two games remaining.

Lisburn slow left armer Matthew Humphreys set up the win with the joint second best figures in the competition, five for 13, as North West Warriors were skittled for 78. But even with Paul Stirling and Ross Adair renewing their Ireland opening partnership, the Knights lost five wickets before reaching their target with seven overs to spare.

Humphreys ripped through the Warriors middle-order as they collapsed from 38 for three to 56 for seven and when he had Craig Young caught at mid-off – the ball after he dropped a return catch – the Ireland international became only the fifth bowler to take a five-for in a T20 inter-provincial.

Only Jared Wilson and Graham Hume made it into double figures as Theo van Woerkom, an unused squad member in Edinburgh last week, also helped himself to three wickets.

Graham Hume, another international left out of all five games in Scotland, conceded just nine runs in his four overs and Craig Young also picked up two wickets, including Stirling for 19. But Neil Rock with five fours and a six saw the Knights home.

Leinster Lightning found it just as easy against Munster Reds in the first match as they recorded their first victory at the fourth attempt but it was the missing internationals who were being followed more closely.

Harry Tector was called up by injury-ravaged Gloucestershire for their opening One-Day Cup game against Derbyshire and scored 86 from 68 balls, with eight fours and four sixes. He returns home for Lightning’s game against the Warriors on Wednesday before heading off on holiday with girlfriend Gaby Lewis.

Curtis Campher is staying with Somerset until he returns for Ireland’s T20 Series against India, starting on August 18, but although their One-day Cup campaign does not start until Friday, he was allowed to play against Cornwall yesterday in a warm-up fixture. He continued his recent prolific form with the bat, hitting 107 from 89 balls, including 10 fours and six sixes and followed up with two wickets.

With Andrew Balbirnie, awaiting the imminent birth of his first child, and Josh Little, playing in The Hundred for Manchester Originals – first game on Wednesday – also missing from the Lightning side, Railway Union’s professional Riley Mudford from New Zealand, not qualified for Ireland was given a debut. He duly won the man of the match for a whirlwind 54 from 22 balls with three fours and six sixes.

Scores: Munster Reds 167-6 (20 overs, M Commins 62, A Frost 61 not out; S Singh 4-18, S Harbinson 2-21) Leinster Lightning 171-4 (15.1 overs, T Tector 64 not out, R Mudford 54; B White 2-31). Lightning won by 6 wickets.

North West Warriors 78 (15.1 overs, J Wilson 29; M Humphreys 5-13, T van Woerkom 3-27) Northern Knights 81-5 (N Rock 29 not out; G Hume 2-9, C Young 2-20). Knights won by 5 wickets.