David Holmes (Newsletter)
“I adapted and did what I had to do.”
Greg Thompson’s words shortly after his side had beaten The Hills.
One ball before drinks it was 93-3, Waringstown apparently cruising to another All Ireland title, 4 balls later it was 93-6; The Hills were on fire. Look across to the pavilion at Bready ask yourself who would you want to smother the flames?
Walking thoughtfully to the middle none other than Kyle McCallan, 227 Irish caps, having earlier taken 3-18. What other team in Ireland 6 wickets down would have players of the calibre of McCallan and Thompson to rely on?
Thompson takes up the story:
“With a rate required of less than two an over, runs were never going to be an issue. Kyle came in and we simply kept reminding each other - make sure we are here at the end. Their tails were up and I kept asking myself – How much do I want this?
"The best team will win in a vacuum, but there are always external influences, the weather, the pitch, the umpires, players in form etc. so you play the conditions and adapt.
"I believe we have a team of intelligent cricketers who have shown that adaptability throughout the season. Shaheen could not bowl at full pace but he was magnificent 14 runs from 10 overs up front.
"I reigned in my natural attacking instincts and we got over the line.”
So how did this innings (24 not out) compare with his 78 and winning in 2015?
“When I look back on my career (which will hopefully not be for a long time yet!) I will probably see the merits of both. Being there at the end and seeing the side home, those runs chasing have added value.
2015 was special though, it was my first all-Ireland, we were at home in front of our supporters and won the league the same day. We celebrated and then could walk home, that will be hard to surpass.”
As for man of the match McCallan his smile was wide as the Foyle:
“Absolutely thrilled for myself and the club, six All Ireland’s you might say I got the equaliser today, three wins. A lot of thoughts going through my head right now, but wait and see what happens.”
Professional Shaheen Khan, carrying that injury, perhaps it helped on the day?
“Sometimes things happen for a reason, really happy with how I bowled today.”
The Hills skipper Max Sorensen was left to reflect on what might have been:
“The toss was vital, I would have bowled had we won and would have backed our boys to do some early damage. Perhaps looking back, I should have promoted myself up the order when we batted.”
Sorensen was left stranded on 24 not out as the lower order folded from 104-4 to 135 all out.
This was Waringstown’s day and indeed season as the Bob Kerr Irish Senior Cup once again resides in the NCU.