A TORRENTIAL downpour between innings ended any hope of a resumption in yesterday’s return Development match between the North and South but although it was a different venue, it was a familiar story.
The South XII had amassed 179-3 at Wallace Park last Thursday and although they lost twice as many wickets at Malahide, they topped that total by another nine as the North bowlers were again beaten into submission.
Jeremy Lawlor, the former Glamorgan batsman hit 90 off 63 balls – he was caught on the boundary by Shane Getkate from the final ball of the innings, 89 runs after the skipper had dropped him at mid-off in the second over.
It was not a good day for the North skipper as Lawlor hit his first ball for a towering six and opening partner Seamus Lynch finished the over with another six and a four. Having conceded 40 off his first three overs, he entrusted the last to his young Instonians team-mate James Hunter and although he picked up wickets with the last two balls, it had already gone for 18.
In between, it was another impressive batting display, showing the depth at Leinster Lightning’s disposal.
The opening partnership of 54 took only seven overs before Jacob Mulder struck in his first over, bowling Lynch with his quicker delivery but that only let in Stephen Doheny to outscore Lawlor in a second wicket stand of 57 from 39 balls.
Hunter claimed his wicket with his second delivery and followed up with Tim Tector’s, caught at long-off from the last ball of his next over.
Brother Jack Tector, one of two changes to the South XII from last week – both the Malahide players were replaced on their home ground! – enjoyed an eight-ball cameo, featuring three fours and six, all but one of them off David Delany before the Clontarf Northern Knight got his revenge.
Delany missed Ireland’s entire winter programme and the 18-day stay in Southampton but looked to have fully recovered from his surgery and that can be only good news for province and country moving forward.
Lisburn’s Josh Manley, another Irish passport holder, was the unlucky bowler when Lawlor was dropped and did not come as close again to taking a wicket in his three overs. Mulder, with good variation was again the pick of the North attack – he took two of the three wickets to fall last week – and was comfortably the most economical yesterday, conceding less than six an over, which everyone else went for more than eight.
But it was Lawlor who was the star of the show, like any good batsman taking full advantage of his ‘life’. The Phoenix opener brought up his 50 from 44 balls, with only two fours and two sixes, in the 15th over but added another four and three more maximums in the last five overs to put South in total control.
The biggest losers on the day were the North batsmen, unable to get redemption for their 84 all out at Lisburn and, for now, fall behind their opponents in the pecking order when the next Ireland Wolves team is selected.
Their one consolation is that the majority have four games in the T20 inter-provincial Cup to impress when that competition gets under way tomorrow.