On Saturday morning we knew that there would be a least one Leinster side in the semi finals of the Royal Liver Irish Senior, and by Saturday night we knew that there would be only one Leinster side. Unfortunately, we still don't know which side that will be. When there's rain about, the normal practice is to insert the oppostion because any reduction in overs favours the team batting second. Clontarf did precisely that in Sydney Parade, and opening bowlers Conor Darcy and Alex Cusack made things even more favourable by removing the first three Pembroke batsmen for 28 runs, Darcy dismissing Briain O'Rourke for the fourth successive time and finishing with 2 for 16 off his ten overs. Joe Byrne (22), brother Peter (31) and Dave Woolston (19) took the total into three figures before skipper Emmet Whaley (35*) and Brad Stone (26*) turned a dodgy looking 115/6 into more respectable 167/6 off 50 overs. Alex Cusack (1 for 35), Trent Johnston (0 for 37), Greg Molins (2 for 37) and Eoghan Delany (1 for 26) all bowled well and kept things tight. In reply Clontarf had reached 31/2 off a dozen overs when the heavens opened, and that turned out to be that. Just when the square had gone from soggy to damp and it looked like Clontarf would get an opportunity to chase a reduced target of 101 off the minimum 30 overs, another shower terminated the day's outdoor entertainment. Attention then turned indoors, and a large gathering christened the newly decorated Pembroke bar.
In the Vineyard, Brigade made slow progress against the bowling of The Hills. Luke Clinton and Gavin Morgan accounted for openers Duddy (13) and Elder (25), and then Davy Cooke and Brian Allen batted very carefully to take the score from 45/2 to 129 in the 38th over before an almighty mix-up saw Brian Allen run out for 43, an innings that contained several excellent shots from the young left-hander. Nicky Cooke didn't last long enough to trouble the scorers, and Gordon joined brother Davy with the score on 144/4 in the 40th over. The scoring gradually accelerated, but didn't reach 200 until the 48th over. Luke Clinton's first nine overs had cost 35 runs, but his 10th cost a further 29 as Davy Cooke hit him for four successive sixes into the trees. The rooks then got five minutes respite while a replacement ball was found, and cawed merrily when the fifth delivery bounced a yard short of the boundary below their nests. Davy kept himself on strike with a single off the last ball. Another 11 came from Joseph Clinton's final over to see Brigade to 244/4, twenty more than The Hills wanted to chase. The warhorse Matt Dwyer slipped in his set of ten overs for 18 runs, and only Barry Archer, with 1 for 39 off his ten, escaped the Cooke carnage: Davy finished on 125* and Gordy 27*, having put on an even ton in the last ten overs. The Hills had got as far as 68 for the loss of two wickets when rain intervened and the target was reduced to 147 off 30 overs. After Barry Archer slipped turning for a second and was run out, the succeeding batsmen tried, unsuccessfully, to slog their way to victory. It was only when Ajaz Farouki and Matt Dwyer started taking their singles that they came within range of the target, but they finished on 141/9, six runs short, Simpson taking 4 for 41 and Moore 3 for 45 for Brigade.
In the Whitney Moore and Keller League Section A, Malahide maintained their winning start by overcoming Munster Reds in The Mardyke. They restricted Reds to 143, Phil Markey starring with 5 for 22 and Robert Duggan batting well for his 33. Good Reds bowling made the Villagers wait until the 42nd over for a four wicket victory, Damian Ryan grafting a thirty, Mike Smith and Andrew Pyne compiling twenties.
In Section B, visitors Leinster inserted Rush and must have been quite pleased with a score of 84/3 after 25 overs (Collie Doyle 36, Saadat Gull 22 and Max Aitken 2 for 31). But then Naseer Shaukat (46), Niall Mullen (39), Shahid Iqbal (51) and Val Cross (38*) trebled the score to 249 off the 50 overs. A shower reduced the target to 218 off 44 overs, but Leinster were never in with a shout, stumbling to 91 for 5 off 25 overs. After more rain the target became 154 off 31 overs, and Leinster finished on 119/7, Dave Lucas 50*, Donovan Lentz 27 and James Tremlett 20 being the principal contributors.
There were no rain interruptions in Terenure, where the inserted CYM recovered from 129/6 to a total of 212/9. The two Warwicks, Hinckel and Hewitt, top-scored with 48 and 46 respectively, and captain Fintan Kelleher chipped in with 31. For the King Billy side, Stu McCready took 3 for 33 and Jonny Harte 3 for 37. Despite overseas player Hinckel being injured while batting and unable to bowl his leg spinners, things looked good for the home side when YMCA were 52/4, but opener Alan Lewis was then joined by Stu Taylor, and the pair put on 125 to set up victory. The former Ireland captain departed for 66 with the score on 177, and Simon Wilson-Moore joined Taylor to take the score to level Neville (samey Jamey?). Stu T popped a tame catch to be out for a Senior best 89. Graham McCoy ran SWM out and then missed a straight one, and things were suddenly interesting. But Johnny Harte pushed a single to seal a two wicket victory. Best bowling figures for CYM were Conor Kelly's 2 for 23 off ten overs and Rory Flanagan's 2 for 24.