Carroll helps Railway post large Cup total
The Park Avenue ground was damp but playable as Railway Union resumed their innings in the Leinster Hohn Williams Senior Cup semi final against North County. Conor Mullen moved quickly to 18, when he was bowled by Eddie Richardson.
Dhruv Kapoor got underway with a nick through the slips, doubled his score with a classy boundary, but then froze against off-spinner Richie Lawrence, who was getting the ball to pop off a length. Dara Armstrong dropped one nick behind, but held the next one to dismiss Kapoor for 11.
Mohammed Tariq also played one nice shot before nicking Lawrence to Boyland at slip. That was 121-5, and the Railway innings was in danger of imploding. Kenny Carroll had been playing his shots, defending the good ones, and just needed someone to support him.
That someone was Paddy Conliffe, who was scoreless for a long time, then started taking singles, then played the odd good shot. He saw Carroll to 50 in the 37th over, and saw off Lawrence for 12-2-26-2.
He had put on 57 with Carroll when he made a pig's ear of a full ball from Shane Plant and was lbw for 18. Saad Ullah and Abdullah Hafeez came and went, each demonstrating the Pakistani inability to run between the wickets.
On and on to his ton went Kenny, reaching 99 with a superb clip off his legs through mid wicket and then a single next ball. Carlo Rendell was very much the sleeping partner as the pair put on 39, by which time Kenny was chancing his arm.
He top-edged Boyland to third man, where Conor Shiel made a Horlick's of the catch, swung at the next ball, missed and was bowled for a superb 116, his third ton this season. If an NCU or NWCU batsman had scored 570 runs for ten times out, it wasn't a flash in the pan, and wasn't on the Ireland A side, there would be uproar from the UK.
But coming from the Free State, he's yesterday's man: we're much better off with a northern plonker. And anyway, can he bowl? can he field? Railway closed on 257 all out, Jimmy Boyland taking 4/58.
The light had got better and better as the evening progressed, and Conor Armstrong and Mossie Shiel had to face off-spinner Greg Lambert (Conor can't play spin, so the received wisdom goes) and medium pacer Saad Ullah.
Not without a few wafts they made their way to 18, when Kenny Carroll replaced Lambert, induced a wild slash from Armstrong, and Lambert hung on, just, to a fine catch. Can Kenny bowl? That was his 14th wicket in 39 overs this season, which might get him onto North Down thirds.
As the sun sank into the northwest, left-arm seamer Carlo Rendell replaced Carroll from the Sandymount end. Mossie Shiel whacked a short ball into Kenny's sternum in the gully, which Kenny never lay a hand on. No, he can't field
Neither can the northern plonker. However, he's from a good family in the wee North, is kind to his golden hamsters, so he must get his chance. Wouldn't it be a good idea to pick the best 15 cricketers, then the next best 15, and never mind the regional composition? Heaven forbid!
North County got to 30-1 when the light faded at nine o'clock after 13.2 overs. It all continues at 5:30 p.m. tomorrow evening. The odds are in Railway's favour, but one excellent innings, like Kenny's, might turn it round for County.