It was a real battle in Rush when Fingal Rivals Rush and Balbriggan squared off for a place in the Premier League of the LCU. Would it be a battle of the heavy hitters, Jurie Snyman for Rush and Clint Hinchliffe for Balbriggan?
Rush won the toss and they took the opportunity to post a score. Nathan Maguire and Prashanth Viswanath opened. Viswanath went lbw to Newport for 3 when the score was 19. Stephen Doheny was caught behind off the bowling of Duane Harper for 10 when the score was 51. Nathan Maguire batting nicely reaching his 50. He had gone to 55 when he fell to Duane Harper caught by Newport.
Enter heavy hitter number one as Jurie Snyman came to the middle, quickly followed by the prolific Neil Rock. A partnership of 98 in the next 13 overs brought the score to 187 when Snyman fell to Nathan Rooney for 45. Neil Rock was batting brilliantly, hitting boundaries to all parts of the ground and over the wall also.
Saadat Gull fell to Newport for 12. Subramanya Ramnathpur shortly after for 2 again to Newport. Rock passed his 100 and was joined by Jared Barnes. Barns and Rock put on 54 for the next wicket. Barnes was then bowled by Nasr for 16. Alex Neary joined Neil Rock who was 122 not out, with 12 fours and 7 sixes at that stage. A partnership of 33 finished when Rock became Josh Newport's fourth victim caught by Hinchliffe for a brilliant 150 from 88 balls with 14 fours and 10 maximums. Neary and Alan Eastwood then batting. 13 runs later Alex Neary fell to Nasr caught by Fletcher for 10. Daniel Coffey joined Eastwood for the last wicket. Eastwood fell to Hinchliffe on the third last ball for 7. Daniel Coffey not out 12. Rush ending up on an imposing 351 all out.
As often happens in Rush the bowlers suffered. Clint Hinchliffe 1-65, Duane Harper 2-46, Farooq Nasr 2-59, Nathan Rooney 1-18 took wickets. But Josh Newport took the honours with 4-57 from his 10 overs.
Conor Fletcher and Dean Carlisle opened for Balbriggan. The score had moved onto 53 when Carlisle was out lbw to Alan Eastwood for 19 in the 10th Over. Enter heavy hitter number two as Clint Hinchliffe came to the middle to join Fletcher who had reached 31. By the 20th over the pair had moved the score on to 105 with Fletcher passing 50. On 111 Fletcher was caught by Gull off the bowling of Snyman for a well made 61.
Farooq Nasr was then caught and bowled by Snyman for 6 leaving Balbriggan 131 for 3. The explosive Nathan Rooney joined Hinchliffe who was batting carefully and nearing 40, Balbriggan needing a partnership. By the 36th over the pair had put on 142 when Nathan Rooney was caught by Coffey off the bowling of Eastwood for belligerent 77 off 49 balls with 7 fours and 5 sixes. Hinchliffe into the 90s.
Ehtesham Ahmed joining Hinchliffe in the middle with Balbriggan 259. Hinchliffe brilliantly passed 100 for the second day in succession, but needs to stay to the end. The score moved to 287 when Ahmed fell again to Eastwood caught by Gull. Adrian Harper was stumped by Rock off Snyman for 2, Balbriggan 292 for 6. Next Justin Martin Kavanagh's whose job will be to stay with Hinchliffe and give him the strike. And his job he certainly did. The pair brought the score to needing 16 off the last over.
Hinchliffe hit 2 off the first ball. But unfortunately he was out on the second ball. Caught by Doheny off the bowling of Neary for a magnificent 142 from 120 balls with 18 fours and 5 sixes, so close.
Duane Harper next in for the last four balls, which brought 8 runs and Balbriggan fall agonisingly short on 345 for 7. What a game of cricket. With in particular Rock and Hinchliffe, but and many others contributing to a classic.
Hats off to both teams for a brilliant game of cricket that really neither side deserved to lose. Rush bowlers had just about enough in the end. Allan Eastwood 3-57, Alex Neary 1-44, but the most important one, and Jurie Snyman 3-35 in ten overs took the honours with the ball.