North County win El Clasico
This season’s first playing of Fingal’s version of El Clasico tookplace at Inch on Saturday, with the home side proving far too good for The Hills.
Jono Andrews and Dara Armstrong departed early, but a double century stand between Conor Armstrong (79) and John Mooney (120 in 92 balls with 7 sixes) took the game away from the Hills.
The last ten overs saw another hundred added as overseas player Josh Reeves scored 58 (5sixes) off 28 balls.
Shane Getkate nipped out a couple of early wickets, but despite 46 from another new Irish contender, Max Sorensen, and Patrick Byrne (31), The Hills fell away and ended 117 adrift.
Clontarf had started the season brightly and continued that through the first 15 overs against Railway Union as Alex Cusack (60) and BillCoglan (55) took a liking to Kevin O’Brien and Saad Ullah’s bowling.
But 98-0 became 104-2 after Cusack was run out going for a third and Coghlan holed out. Andrew Poynter made 50 but Clontarf’s total of 244 was disappointing given their strong start.
Newly called up for the South XI in the de facto Irish trial, Tom Fisher was unbeaten with 94 and watched as Kevin O’Brien boxed 60 off 44 balls in what is likely to be his last knock of the season for Railway. Australian recruit Patrick Collins continued his impressive start with 4-40 and 32 not out.
Club insiders say Pembroke look a little short of Division One quality, and their result on Saturday seems to bear that out. Having bowled YMCA out for 198 (Andy Leonard 3-28), they then capitulated to130 all out.
Allan Eastwood resisted best but the former ‘broke player Robbie Garth blew away the middle order. It could be a tough season for a club that has not been slow to give youth its chance.
Yet another man celebrating his elevation to the Irish set-up was in the runs, with Merrion skipper John Anderson (79) leading his team to a comfortable 51 run win over Phoenix.
Dave Langford-Smith showed his class with 5-44 and Phoenix may have fancied chasing 207. But Matt Petrie (4-36) dished up some of his celebrated fast swing to blow away the top order and despite 31 from the consistent Conor Kelly and 25 from Lanky the game was soon up.
In Division 2 it was another Fingal face-off, with this time Rush overcoming County’s second string. Adam Coughlan (60) and Shane Plant (69) posted 127 for the third wicket, but even Tipu’s 4-29 couldn’t stop County making a strong 265-9.
At 28-3 Rush were on the rack, but Tipu (90*) and Shahid Iqbal (110*, including 12 fours and 7 sixes) hoisted an unbroken partnership of 241 to coast home with more than 11overs to spare.
Also in this section, Leinster beat Old Belvedere by seven wickets while Terenure’s trip to Cork was aborted because of rain in the southern capital.
In Division 3 Trinity completed their programme with a pair of wins to leave them well placed with 65%. On Saturday they racked up 228-8 against Balbriggan, with Amir Anwar making 61, Tom Bouch 60 and Gareth Pursehouse 40.
The visitors were dismissed for 150, with Anwar and Eoghan Conway claiming three wickets apiece.The following day they hosted Oakhill, whose top order briefly shone but the innings folded after 34 overs for 125.
Eoghan Delany’s 4-17was ended with a sharp caught and bowled off Angus Hancock which split the webbing on his writing hand – the day before one of his final exams. After losing two cheap wickets, Trinity’s Pursehouse made 54 and Bouch 34 in an unbroken stand of 80.
Pembroke’s 2nd string continued their winning start with a nine-wicket thrashing of Clontarf at Sydney Parade, Danny Barclay contributing an unbeaten 71 and 3-13 off his ten overs.
Civil Service beat Malahide by one wicket at the Village. Mick O’Brien’s 63 helped the home side to 269, but 113 off 82 by Safeen, and 50 by Owen Butler, saw Service home in a thrilling finish.
The only centurion of the weekend was Nicky Kenny (114 for Merrion 3rds v North County 3rds, Division 5), but there was a near miss for John Brogan who made 98 not out for Malahide 5ths against Pembroke.