Mixed fortunes for Northern sides
Ian Callender (Irish Independent)
EGLINTON and Fox Lodge did the North West proud in the first round of the Irish Senior Cup, one with an emphatic win, the other with a surprise victory.
It was always going to be a hard ask for any northern side to return from Dublin with a victory but Championship side Fox Lodge carried the flag with a 55 runs success over Leinster, Brian Allen falling just six runs short of a century in the Foxes 233 for nine. The bowlers then finished the job.
Muckamore's home game against Eglinton was not the most attractive first round tie but a 72 runs DLS success for the visitors deserved to take the headlines as their batsmen all came to the party in a curtailed total of 235 for four from 38.1 overs.
Opener Andy Miller led the way with 72, backed up by captain Stuart Thompson's 65, whlle the other batsmen in the top five all got into the 20s as the Muckamore bowlers took a hammering.
The home batsmen didn't fare much better with Avadhoot Dandekar batting through the reply but although he did make three figures, only Ryan Haire stayed with him for any length of time and by the end their pumped up target of 272 was still way in the distance.
And North West hopes of getting any more teams into the second round took a hit on Saturday when all five games in the region were abandoned without a ball bowled, so Brigade, Coleraine, Donemana, Drummond and Strabane all must travel for the refixes on Sunday week.
The ‘lucky' NCU teams now with home advantage are CIYMS, Derriaghy and Carrickfergus, although it didn't help North Down on Saturday, who crashed by 10 wickets to YMCA as they failed their test of spin.
Yaqoob Ali with four wickets and Simmi Singh with two ensured the second highest stand was 16 as North Down could score only 110 for nine in a game reduced to 24 overs. Martin Moreland sharing the new ball, was hit for 10 in his first over and Jack Tector and Tom Fisher never looked back, knocking off the runs inside 18 overs.
Holders Waringstown were even quicker, batting less than 15 overs, although that was after bowling out hapless Bready for 70 at The Lawn. Ireland opening bowler Craig Young scored 33 but the next best was six.
Best match of the day was at Shaw's Bridge, with Clontarf strike bowler Joe Morrissey keeping it in the balance to the final ball.
Instonians needed just two runs of the last of their 25 overs with five wickets in hand but Morrissey took two wickets with the first two balls, including home skipper Nikolai Smith for 56, and a run out off the third put the pressure on Aussie Nathan Smith. Two ‘dots' from the fourth and fifth balls meant Inst still needed two off the last ball but Smith hit it for four to send the Leinster league and cup holders crashing out.
There was a lot of crashing about in Phoenix Park, mainly from the bat of Reinhardt Strydom. The St Johnston bowlers were on the receiving end as the former Ireland international hit exactly 100 from 48 balls with 18 fours and two sixes. Phoenix needed only 140 to win and they got home in only the 13th over.
There was similar disappointment in Dublin for Lisburn (despite 79 from Steve Lazars), Civil Service North and Ardmore although their defeats took a little longer.