Seamus Lynch with a whirlwind century and Gavin Hoey’s record six-wicket haul combined to spoil the Knights party as Leinster Lightning inflicted a painful 170-run loss to the title hopefuls at a sun-drenched Stormont.

Early wickets for Mark Adair, Matthew Foster and Ruhan Pretorius – including former Ireland captain Andrew Balbirnie – had Lightning in serious trouble at 47 for 4 still inside the powerplay.

Chris De Freitas and skipper George Dockrell got the innings back on track with a fifth wicket stand of 63, but when left-arm spinner Theo van Woerkom accounted for both, the balance had once again tilted in the home side’s favour at 154 for 6.

Clontarf all-rounder David Delany was joined by Seamus Lynch, the third choice keeper only in the team due to regular Lorcan Tucker’s participation in the Caribbean Premier League and an injury to back-up Mark Donegan.

The dynamic of the contest altered dramatically as the pair shared a counter-attacking seventh wicket partnership of 150 in just 105 balls to take their side past 300. Delany hit 7 fours and a six in his 76 from 81 balls, but it was the 21 year-old Lynch that stole the show as he top-scored with 107 from only 63 deliveries – hitting 8 sixes and fours in the competition’s second fastest century, bettered only by Barry McCarthy last year.

Lightning plundered 139 from the last 12 overs and a final total of 353 for 9 was always going to be a tough proposition for the hosts.

That challenge became even more daunting with the early fall of the big hitting Ross Adair and James McCollum, but there was hope when Paul Stirling was joined by the in-form Morgan Topping, back at the scene of his memorable Challenge Cup final hundred.

The pair produced a boundary laden stand of 90 for the third wicket, reaching 134 for 2 in the 19th over to give their side hope of a record chase. That hope was quickly extinguished by the introduction of Gavin Hoey, who dismissed Topping to spark a collapse of five wickets for just 13 runs.

One of those was Ireland captain Stirling, who holed out for 66 (8 fours, 2 sixes) off Simi Singh, but it was the 21 year-old Trinity student Hoey who was the destroyer-in-chief, claiming a competition record 6 for 26 to ensure a bonus point win.

All is not lost for the Knights who can still claim the title with victory on Thursday at home to the Warriors.