Ireland A face long haul after batting collapse
Ian Callender (Belfast Telegraph)
Ireland A faced a long hard day in the field today after failing to pick up a wicket in the final hour of their three-day game against Durham II in Darlington.
The county have already taken 72 runs off Irelandís first innings tally of 335 and, not for the first time this season, it was a tale of missed opportunities for Irelandís up and coming stars.
Chris Dougherty top scored with 71 and John Anderson made a determined 46 but after a partnership of 111 for the second wicket, both were out in the first three overs after lunch and barely an hour later, the visitors had collapsed from 137 for one to 181 for six.
Stuart Poynter, playing as the wicket-keeper/batsman in this match, showed his talent with 11 boundaries in his 68 and shared a stand of 77 with Johnny Thompson who transferred his impressive form with the bat for Brigade to the higher level with five fours and a six in his 36. But, just when Ireland were looking to accelerate with two set batsmen, he wafted at a ball wide of off stump and gave a straightforward catch to the wicket-keeper.
That brought Peter Eakin to the middle, another all-rounder who forced his way into the A team through weight of runs at club level and after an understandable nervous start, he had just hit his third four and was getting into his stride when he got the leading edge to Durhamís most accurate bower who held the return catch.
Ireland A could have finished their innings there and then because the remaining 29 runs used up nine overs and 12 of those came from Albert van der Merwe boundaries in the final over before John Mooney called them in.
For Mooney, it was a disastrous day with the bat. Not only was he the only dismissed player not to reach double figures but he didnít even get off the mark, hitting his 12th ball straight to cover. It looks like it will have another innings to find some batting form.
He brought himself on as second change last night after Andy Britton and Phil Eaglestone shared the new ball but he had no more joy than his opening pair and Stuart Thompson, the only other one used, was the most expensive.
Mooney still has another four bowlers at his disposal, including Albert van der Merwe. He may need them all.