Anderson stars as Merrion lift cup
Ger Siggins (Sunday Independent)
AS the 2016 cricket season winds down, no-one will have as much cause for satisfaction as John Anderson. After years banging on the door he won a recall to the Irish squad which has every chance of a long extension, and led Leinster Lightning to all three titles in the Interprovincial series.
Despite a concussion which put him out for three weeks, he has scored well over 1,000 runs and yesterday crowned the summer with a match-winning century as Merrion put their battle against relegation aside to regain the Bob Kerr Irish Senior Cup.
"As a club we take a lot of pride in this competition, taking on the whole of Ireland, Anderson said after the game. We see it as a way of benchmarking ourselves against the best of the rest. In the end it was comfortable margin of victory but we had to work very hard for it.
Merrion were made to work so hard by Waringstown, who came out on top when the same sides met in last year's final.
The Dubliners' captain Dom Joyce was determined to avenge that defeat. He led from the front, racking up his fourth 50 in five finals no else has made more than two and partnering Anderson in a stand of 108 that set Merrion up for a testing 250. Anderson loves this competition and his century was only the seventh in 34 finals.
Waringstown felt the target was within their range, but nerves set in with mean opening spells from Tyrone Kane and the richly promising 15-year-old Max Neville who ended with stunning figures of 7-2-12-1 bowling down the hill at Castle Avenue.
Merrion kept taking wickets too, and David Langford-Smith, threatening that this would be his last-ever game, took two vital scalps in Lee Nelson (48) and Greg Thompson (20). The former Ireland bowler then tied things down in a crucial bowling partnership with Will Von Behr that broke the northern challenge.
Today the Dubliners take on The Hills in a game which could decide their Division 1 status next season, so the cider is likely to have stayed on ice in Anglesea Road last night.