North County vs Balbriggan
North County bounced back to form in no uncertain terms with a big win against Terenure last weekend, with the batting finally clicking together in what is a very strong side.
There were runs all round the order for North County, with Jonathan Andrews, John Mooney and Andy Sheridan leading the way with the bat in hand. Sheridan, who is perhaps more at home in the middle order, clubbed 51 off just 26 balls in a last ditch attempt to smash runs late in the innings.
With a strong total on the board to defend, it was also going to be an uphill task for any side against this North County attack, and it was led by Ghaffar - who helped himself to 3-19 with the new ball and killed any early momentum. It was a statement victory and one that people would have been expecting from this side for a while. They will now be anxious to try and maintain those standards going into this local clash against Balbriggan.
Balbriggan recorded an equally impressive victory against Rush, thrashing that side by 8 wickets in a huge display. It was led by the bowling unit, bowling Rush out for just 110, which was always below par. Dylan Lues led the way with the ball taking four wickets, for the second gameweek in a row.
The run chase was always going to be straightforward but it was helped by some good batting from Balbriggan. Ghanim Dara saw his side over the line with 39*, while there were also useful contributions from Conor Fletcher and Farooq Nasr.
This game will be one of the most eagerly anticipated of the whole weekend as these are two of the best sides in this division when on a going day, it will be very interesting to see who comes out on top and gains some local bragging rights.
This game will be one of the most eagerly anticipated of the whole weekend as these are two of the best sides in this
division when on a going day, it will be very interesting to see who comes out on top and gains some local bragging
KEY BATTLE: Connor Fletcher vs John Mooney
Railway Union vs Rush
At Park Avenue, Railway completed a solid victory over Co Galway last week, after a good all-round performance with both bat and ball.
Batting first, Railway were led by Kevin O’Brien, who had a welcome return to the runs last week, scoring a key unbeaten half century. This was a key innings in the context of the game and added to that a key 40 from Liam McCarthy, they took the game away from Galway.
Their bowling has been excellent so far and McCarthy completed an all-round performance with three wickets leading the attack. Stuart De Klerk also added his worth to the side with an important 4-8 for his side. That’s been backed up by Hashir Sultan and Glenn Querl, who have both taken valuable wickets throughout the competition so far.
Rush will be looking to bounce back from a disappointing effort against Balbriggan last week. They only posted 110 with the bat, which was always going to be severely under par on a good batting pitch. Neil Rock scored 32 for them that day, which was the only proper contribution for the side.
The bowling unit didn’t have much to work with on this occasion, and took the two wickets in the run chase, with Daniel Coffey again bowling very tightly with his spell. With the bowling from Coffey, alongside Jarred Barnes and Allan Eastwood - they have more than enough resources to cause problems to opposing batters. They should be winning more games of cricket this summer.
KEY BATTLE: Kenny Carroll vs Daniel Coffey
Cork County vs Co Galway
Cork County will be looking to return to action this weekend after their game last weekend was washed out against North Kildare away from home. Therefore they weren’t able to test out the form of their previous week, where they had beaten Terenure, which was a bit of a shock. They will be looking to uphold that form this weekend back on home
In their games so far this year, Cork County seem to be quite reliant on the all-round efforts of Harvey Wooten and Rudolph Pollard, who have been very useful with both bat and ball. Pollard, who bats up the order and opens the bowling has been particularly impressive. Harvey Wootton claimed the headlines against Terenure with a wonderful hat-trick which culminated with his spell finishing with 6-25.
From early evidence, they look like they are a much harder team to play away from home, with the conditions in the Mardyke suiting the home side. They will be a hard team to get points away from home this year, and could well provide a lot of shocks in this division. They head into this game against Galway as favourites.
It was more of the same from Galway last weekend as their defeat to Railway was full of promise with the ball, but were let down by their batting when trying to chase their target. Bowling first at Park Avenue, it was the opening spell of Illif Summit that was brilliant yet again and he continues to impress in this competition - with his 2-25 from 10 overs.
Mitch Galav, who has contributed with both bat and ball this year - showed his worth with the ball in hand last weekend, taking four wickets and causing a lot of problems to the Railway middle order. They managed to restrict Railway to 157 - which seemed like an excellent effort, but they were unable to chase down the runs.
Apart from 30 form Vageesh Shivaprasad, who would be known around Cricket Leinster circles for his time at YMCA, they struggled to get any sort of momentum in the run chase, falling well short. For them to claim their first win in this competition, they will need to put in an improved batting effort. Their bowling has been top class.
KEY BATTLE: Rudolph Pollard vs Conor Mullen
North Kildare vs Terenure
The final game from the Buakit Championship this weekend comes from The Maws, where North Kildare will be looking to extend their unbeaten sequence in this competition against a Terenure side who will be looking to bounce back from two defeats.
North Kildare have been very good in their two games thus far, but various washed out games will not be helping their momentum and will need to start fresh again this weekend looking for that third victory. It is the same names of note to look out for with Patel and Azmat leading the way with the bat in hand so far this year. Added to that is the bowling of Sherzad, who continues to impress and will be looking for more overs under the belt before next month’s Irish U19 Qualifiers. This competition is providing great exposure for him and his team.
As for Terenure, they were unlucky to play against North County on a going day last weekend, and their bowling couldn’t quite live with the batting prowess from their opponent. They will be happy with the efforts of Mark Thomas and Zubair Khan, who are both beginning to really excel in bowling up top with each other and are causing problems for batters.
With the bat in hand, they will have been pleased to see a half century for Liam Harris last weekend, alongside some useful contributions from Sadiq Safi - who is becoming an underrated all-rounder for this side. However, it’s the runs of Seamus Lynch and Mick Cotter that they need the most, with those two players usually at the heart of the innings when Terenure come out on top in games.
This is one of the most intriguing games on the schedule for the weekend, with both sides well matched and a very good game in store.
KEY BATTLE: Zubair Khan vs Monil Patel