YMCA survived a spirited rearguard by Civil Service NI to clinch the All Ireland Under-11 Cup by 16 runs at Claremont Road. This completed a notable treble for the Sanymount side, who had already captured the league and cup in Leinster and went the season undefeated.
Having been asked to bat, YM posted a formidable total of 156/8 in their allotted 30 overs, the bulk of which came in a second-wicket partnership of 92 shared by skipper Harry Tector and Lucy O’Reilly. Tector scored a fluent 60 and looked well on course to reach three figures when he was clean bowled by Archie Johnson, whose accurate seamers brought CSNI back into the game. O’Reilly was dismissed shortly afterwards for an impressive 34.
Stephen Keane (11) and Jamie Topping (14) maintained the momentum, but CSNI fought hard to stem the flow. Johnson took 2/17 and was well-supported by Matthew Neill (2/28) and Rory Kirkpatrick (2/27).
When the northerners lost early wickets, the game looked to be sliding away from them. Tector made the initial breakthrough but it was Michael O’Reilly, younger brother of Lucy, who destroyed the CSNI middle order. In a four-over spell, nine-year-old O’Reilly took five for 10, hitting the stumps on three occasions, and reducing CSNI to 46/6.
But there was life in this game yet. James Pollard (50) and Thomas McCord (33) shared an excellent stand of 86 for the seventh wicket, which had YM seriously rattled. CSNI needed a manageable 36 from four overs when Pollard was run out, a dismissal which more or less decided the outcome.
But both sides can be proud of the contribution they made to an excellent game of cricket.