UCD ISL League
The fixture list has conspired to make Belgrove Eagles the only side to have completed their first round of games. Undefeated, they look comfortable favourites to lift the trophy on February 3. Captained by law student Mustafa Haris, the men in blue possess a truly fearsome bowling attack. Doctoral student Nagesh Yadav has led the line with Marshall-esque accuracy and a raw pace that seems totally incompatible with his short stature. In this format of almost constant run-scoring, the fact that he is the only opening bowler with a maiden to his name is a testament to his ability. With four wickets overall, including a match-winning three-fer against Giants, left-arm paceman Haris has led well by example. Runs have come freely from the bat of hard-swinging Canadian Adrian Huang, who is rapidly adapting to life after baseball. Experienced Aussie all-rounder Bard Ovenden, UCD CC stalwart Usman Haroon and captain Haris have all chipped in gamely too with plenty of runs. A team with few weaknesses, if any.
The Roebuck Rhinos, captained by Zimbabwean opening bat Rob Maweni (Medicine), will be looking to make amends for defeats in their first two matches. Possessing a healthy balance of enthusiastic beginners and experienced club cricketers, such as huge-hitting Merrion century-maker Jeremy Dunleavy and former Pembroke man Mike Hickey, a turnaround in fortunes should not be too far away. The reds will also benefit from accurate opening bowling from Knockharley’s Alan Elliott and Aneeq Ahmed; a spinning option in Neil Wallace and the experienced and versatile wicketkeeper-batsman Brian McGreal. Already known for the fierce protection he affords his men (which has resulted in borderline umpire intimidation) Maweni will lead Rhinos into a real battle with Glenomena to remove themselves from the foot of the table. Expect a classic.