Monday July 19, 2010
On Saturday lunchtime the wife dropped me off in Terenure, and after a brief but heavy shower had delayed the start for twenty minutes, I settled down to see how the improving Terenure side would deal with Phoenix, who had won all six of their league games after losing the opener in Milverton.
Phoenix opted to bat first, and had reached 23 when Ben Larkin played at one from left-armer Shane Mott that he might have left, and was well taken at slip for 15 by Sumar Das. It was slow going as Ted Williamson joined Rory Flanagan – only 32 off the first 15 overs.
Ken “Plates” Brennan had just finished his 10 overs up the hill for 27 when Williamson played a ball from Michael Launders, coming down the hill, off his hip to be caught by Doug Nicol at square leg for 11, not the first time I'm seen Ted get out this way.
Conor Kelly came to the crease greeted by cries of “Now it's Terenure against CYM”, a reference to the fact that both batsmen had travelled from Dublin 6W to Dublin 8 a couple of seasons ago. The CYM ground looked in great nick, but the unusually smooth outfield was very slow.
Drinks were taken at 62-2, and both batsmen then tried to up the pace. Benn Hoey's leg breaks were introduced to tempt an indiscretion, and Rory Flanagan, on 37 out of 82, duly obliged with a straightforward catch to Launders at deepish mid off. The Tallaght Tornado didn't even lay a hand on it.
But the nephew of erstwhile Ireland leg spinner Conor Hoey got his reward when he had Kelly (24) neatly stumped by Das, who had relieved Nathan Carroll behing the wicket. Flanagan reached fifty with a six just over wide long on, and four runs later Langford Smith (11) poked Carroll to Plates at mid wicket to make it 129-4 in the 38th over.
Flanagan ground his way on to 66, when he was bowled by Carroll in the 42nd over. Skipper Corie Dickeson contributed 13 and was bowled by Launders in the 45th over with the score on 158. The Phoenix nether order could add only 19 more runs as they were bowled out for 177 in 48.2 overs.
Mott finished with 1/25 for some decent bowling up top, while Launders (4/19) and Carroll (4/41) helped themselves to the later offerings. Terenure went to a very nice tea (thanks, Maebh Hoey) knowing that if they batted their 50 overs they'd get past that score despite the slow outfield.
Phoenix knew that they had to get at the 'Nure batsmen straight away, and that's exactly what they did. Doug Nicol swatted Morne Bauer to Rory Flanagan at cover, and Donal Vaughan was cleaned out by David Langford Smith.
Carroll counter-attacked with two fours and a six, but in going for another maximum found Bauer on the boundary. A second notch on Kelly's gun handle was Das, caught behind. Terenure reached drinks seven runs in advance of Phoenix, but lost Kenny McDonald straight afterwards, bowled by Kelly for 22.
The fightback from Shane Mott and Darren Nicol was ended when Nicol played a silly shot to be caught off Masud Ahmed. Then Mott was bowled by Masud Ahmed for 20 to make it 90-7. Launders and McDarby were the rabbits frozen in the headlights of Matt Lunson's leg breaks (3-2-6-2).
When Hoey nicked Masud Ahmed (5.3-1-13-3) through to keeper Graham Flanagan, Terenure were all out for 98 in 38.3 overs. Well as Lanky, “Mossy” Bauer and “Polly” Kelly (10-3-21-3) bowled, I felt that if one batsman had battled it out like Rory Flanagan had done, Terenure would have got close.
Barring a calamity, Phoenix will be in Division 1 in 2011. That's the easy bit: but what about 2012? Where are the spring chickens? Where are the underage players coming through?
On Sunday it was a battle between two clubs with loads of underage players coming through, Malahide and Clontarf, for a place in the final of the Lewis Hohn Williams Senior Cup in College Park next Saturday. Clontarf resumed on 4-0 after one over.
Phil Markey bowled a good spell from the Castle end, and quickly had Adrian D'Arcy well caught by Andy Smith at square leg. Rod Hokin was dropped by Nick Turner at slip off Markey, but then the skipper trapped Richard Forrest lbw after 21 fluently made runs.
Stevie Smith had relieved Reece McDonald from the road end, and made up for Turner's drop when Hokin was lbw for 10 despite a rifle crack of an inside edge. The 18 overs of fielding restrictions ended with 'Tarf on 45-3, and Eoghan Delany lost two buddies as the 30 over marker was reached at 69-5, both to Callum Riches.
A shower brought an early lunch at 73-5 off 32. Smith finished his spell with figures of 12-2-22-1, and after another break for rain Deller and his skipper, Joe Morrissey, crept to 113-5 in 45 overs, Deller surviving a couple of chances as Riches bowled out with 12-1-33-2.
McDonald had earlier sat out a dozen overs with ice on his shin splints, but was able to resume bowling in the 46th over, when he had Delany caught behind for 43. JoMo was joined by Paul Ryan and the pair upped the pace in their characteristic Looney Tunes fashion.
After taking 50 balls to get to past 10, Joe reached 50 in the 53rd over, but lost Ryan, caught off Govan for 14 with the score on 158. He was joined by Richie Reid, and the pair added 41 in 5 overs when JoMo was caught off McDonald for 69. The last 59 of them had taken only 57 balls.
Reid continued to put it about, hitting four sixes in his 33*. With Ropu Islam (7) and Killian Lynskey (2*) he added 21 more in the final two overs to get Clontarf to 220-9, a score that was nearly double the 45 over tally.
Markey's spells returned 2/33, and only McDonald (3/57) and Govan (1/70) suffered from the late onslaught. The Malahide ground fielding had been good, but 'Tarf had probably accumulated 20 more than the Village People wanted to chase.
Wicketkeeper Fintan McAllister is the regular Malahide opener, and this time he was joined by Reece McDonald. The pair put on fifty before McAllister miscued one of Bill Coghlan's liquorice allsorts to Islam, and the 18th over ended on 54-1.
Bill, bowling in the absence of nephew Jordan, then clean bowled McDonald for 32. Adam Coughlan and Johnny Pryor batted without conviction against Vijay Gopal and Rod Hokin, Pryor caught behind off Hokin, Coughlan well stumped by D'Arcy off Gopal for 16.
Then Nick Turner, who had looked purposeful, was lbw to Hokin for 24, and Malahide had slipped to 107-5 off 30 overs. It had been tense all evening, with 'Tarf combining the self-righteous and noisy exuberance of the Sydney Parade male voice choir with the Fingal histrionics of the tea-pots and groans of bewilderment as each appeal is turned down.
No doubt this is all coordinated and rehearsed under the supervision of the alpha male of the Bull's Meadow troop, JoMo, but it really is over the top and insulting to the opposition and umpires. Just after Adam Shehabeddin had come in to join Jimmy Govan there was a huge stumping appeal when Shebs had clearly not left his ground nor even moved, but this didn't prevent the agonised moans from the fielders as Clive Colleran called 'not out.'.
A couple of overs later Adam did momentarily lift his foot, D'Arcy had the bails off and up went Clive's finger. Now it was the turn of the Malahide connections to start whingeing about umpires succumbing to pressure. The fact that Shehabeddin stood his ground and argued the toss with Clive did him no favours.
That was 109-6, and Govan and Callum Riches slowly dragged the village back into the match. With 15 overs to go they wanted another 77 to win. The required rate quickly reached a run a ball, and Govan perished, caught behind off Coghlan for 32.
Reid then dropped Riches, on 30, at deep square leg off Hokin, and he and Markey soldiered on. 43 were wanted in five overs, 33 off 4 overs with Markey now out, 28 off 3 and 22 off 2. Riches reached a fine fifty, finding the boundary with increasing frequency and scampering singles with Andy Smith. The penultimate over yielded 11.
Smith took a single off the first ball off the last over, bowled by Morrissey, Riches a two and a single, Smith a leg bye, leaving Riches on strike with six needed off two. The fifth was hit into the deep for two, so the final ball had to be a boundary.
Riches swung it to deep mid off where Ropu Islam took the catch. Riches was out for an excellent 61 and Malahide had fallen three runs short. In the end, Clontarf's final burst was better than Malahide's.
The 'Tarf bowlers all performed well: Coghlan, an occasional bowler, took 4/52; Hokin 3/37; Gopal a mean 1/25; Islam a steady 0/32; and the skipper kept his nerve to claim the final wicket at a cost of 51 runs.
Clontarf go the College Park to defend their cup, again, and Malahide know that if they fight like that in their remaining league matches they might avoid an immediate return to the second tier. I'm off now to Park Avenue to see how Railway Union and North County fare in their continued semi final.