Sunday saw Cork Harlequins host Cork County in a crucial match which could have a big bearing on the league in 2024. 

The home side won the toss and opted to bat first, put a total on the board and defend with the use of their varied attack. 

Quins lost Adam Hickey (1) early on but Matthew Brewster joined the in-form Sumanthu Powale and set about the County seamers with a sense of freedom and purpose. Losing their professional, Mark Andrianatos to a groin strain after his 2.3 overs went for 23 didn’t help matters and the other pacemen also failed to put a halt to the free scoring Quins batters. 

The pair put on 132 for the second wicket but even after Brewster fell for a well made 48, Quins looked set for a big score with 21 overs left and 8 batters in the shed. 

Winning Cork Harlequins side

The momentum then shifted in a big way with the introduction of the visitors’ spinners as one by one the Quins batters got out as quickly as they got in through the pressure being applied with the ball and the well thought out fields that were set. 

Powale fell for 81 but County were in complete control as they claimed 5 wickets with only 21 runs being added and had the chance to bundle the home side out for a score close to 200. Barry Vosloo (41), Shivam Kislay (17) and Zubair Hassan Khan (24) showed some fight with Khan’s 24 being particularly destructive (two 4’s, two 6’s). 

Quins went into the break with some momentum of their own setting County 254 to win which would take some getting if the bowlers stuck to their task. Andrianatos had a day to forget as he was adjudged lbw for a duck and Benjamin Morris, who’s been in the runs fell for 17, both to Jones.  

Syed Aiman’s 41 put a halt to the Quins squeeze and along side Ross Durity (20) started the rebuild process in a risk-free manner. Jones claimed his third and County were in a spot of bother at 70 for 4. 

However, Brian Upman took a liking to the Quins spinners and smashed 84 but when he fell the situation was evenly poised at 211 for 7. 

The last three batters could only muster 5 runs between them as Jones claimed his 5th and Brewster his second which mean that County fell 15 runs short in the end in what was a fantastic game of cricket played in a great spirit. 

The win means that Quins go top of the Premier division but County, Limerick and Galway are breathing down their neck. There’s bound to be more to this story however before all the games are completed in a few months’ time.