Metcalfe century leads Instonians to U15 cup glory
Oliver Metcalfe's brilliant century was the catalyst for Instonians winning the most dramatic All-Ireland Under 15 final as they beat YMCA by one run in a thrilling encounter at Claremont Road.
Metcalfe who scored 95 in the semi-final win last week, followed it up with a breathtaking 134 not out from 125 balls, dominating their total of 204 for 6.
His powerful innings contained 12 fours and he cleared the ropes three times in a quite superb display of clean hitting, putting away anything remotely loose.
Two wickets apiece from Mitchell Thompson (2-26) and Jamie Forbes (2-38) had Instonians on the ropes at 106 for 5, but Metcalfe found a willing partner in Adam Wylie (27), and it was their stand of 87 in 86 balls that was to prove crucial in the final analysis.
The YMCA innings got off to a strong start with skipper Mitchell Thompson in imperious touch and it looked for a long time as if he would lead his team to victory.
Thompson dominated the scoring in the first half of the chase, helped too by some wayward bowling which saw Instonians concede no fewer than 49 extras.
Thompson made a brilliant 86 from 106 deliveries, striking 7 boundaries, and allied with Elliot Johns (10) and Jamie Forbes (20) both batting sensibly, victory looked assured as they reached 148 for 2.
However, nerves crept in and when Adam Wylie (3-20) took the wicket of Thompson, 5 wickets had fallen for just 23 runs - Hugo Ellerby (2-27) and Matthew Humphreys (2-42) picking up two apiece.
James Hunter (1-42) dismissed Henry Thompson with 9 needed and despite some late blows from Rhys Kwantreng (16*), Sam McLarnon was the hero of the hour as he claimed the final wicket with just one run needed.
That sparked off scenes of great celebration in the visitors camp which was only matched by the scenes of utter despair amongst the YMCA players and supporters.
A truly momentous match which had a bit of everything and a wonderful advertisement for Irish youth cricket, which on this evidence will see many of the teenagers on the international stage in the years ahead.
All-Ireland U15 Final
At Claremont Road, Instonians U15 beat YMCA U15 by 1 run
O Metcalfe not out 134
M Humphreys c McDonnell b Forbes 4
S McLarnon lbw Forbes 2
J Hunter lbw McDonnell 9
B Beattie c Johns b M Thompson 1
J Dickson b M Thompson 7
A Wylie c Elliott b Tector 27
J Lambert not out 2
Extras (12w, 1nb, 1lb, 4b) 18
Total (6 wkts, 40 overs) 204
Fall: 1-43 2-62 3-89 4-94 5-106 6-193
Did not bat (M Peak, B Crothers, H Ellerby, T Johnston)
Bowling: M O'Reilly 8-0-46-0; J Forbes 8-1-38-2; M Thompson 8-0-26-2;
C McDonnell 8-0-35-1; T Tector 7-0-49-1; R Ainsworth 1-0-5-0
M Thompson c Hunter b Wylie 86
E Johns b Peak 10
J Forbes c Johnston b Humphreys 20
T Tector c&b Humphries 9
M O'Reilly b Ellerby 1
C McDonnell b Ellerby 0
T Elliott c Hunter b Wylie 0
H Thompson c Humphreys b Hunter 4
B Shaw st Metcalfe b Wylie 8
R Kwantreng not out 16
R Ainsworth c Hunter b McLarnon 0
Extras (33w, 8nb, 7lb, 1b) 49
Total (all out, 38.3 overs) 203
Fall: 1-35 2-119 3-148 4-155 5-161 6-163 7-171 8-182 9-197 10-203
Bowling: H Ellerby 8-1-27-2; J Hunter 6-0-42-1; M Peak 6-0-25-1;
S McLarnon 7.3-0-39-1; M Humphreys 8-0-42-2; A Wylie 3-0-20-3