Arriving at Anglesea Road on Sunday morning, Clontarf 2 and YMCA 2 were set to play out the final Open Competitions game in Leinster of the 2021 season. Clontarf 3 had sealed the Division 4 title on Saturday with an excellent run-chase against Cork Harlequins, giving their 2nd XI a chance to round out a perfect weekend for their club if they could secure the Division 3 title yesterday.
Having won the toss, YMCA skipper Andrew Blair-White opted to bat first on a pitch that would later prove to reward batsmen who could dig in and bat for a long period of time. Matt Butler took the new ball for Clontarf from the Stephenson's End of the ground and he did so with an excellent spell of 2/19 from his 7 overs. He accounted for the YM skipper, and number 3 Henry Thompson to reduce their opposition to 27/2 in the 8th over.
Elliott Johns survived the opening burst, and accumulated nicely alongside Tom Anders who dug in for his side, the pair added 49 in the next 18 overs, before Anders was caught at mid-on for 14 off the bowling of Paul Ryan. Sparking a collapse which Ryan played a pivotal role in. Having dismissed Anders, he bowled Varsh Shetty before running Reuben Wilson out. Zulfiqar Ali accounted for Ian Anders LBW as well and YM had lost 4 wickets for just 5 runs.
Cillian McDonnell added 27 with Johns, seeing the opener past 50 in the process, but when he reached 55 and slapped an Ali delivery in the direction of mid-on, Ropu Islam flew forward to take an excellent low catch, having bowled tightly without reward earlier on, it wasn't the only time Islam would be involved in a big moment in the game. Sam Streek and Olly Riley both fell without scoring, as McDonnell finished 16* and YMCA were all out for 111 in the 43rd over.
Zulfiqar Ali's 3/16 was the pick of the bowling, whilst there were also 3/23 for Paul Ryan to go with Butler's earlier 2/19. A pair of run outs accounted for the other two wickets in what was an excellent all-round performance in the field for the Clontarf side.
The chase began with a spell of 7 overs before tea, Tom Anders and Sam Streek took the new ball and it was the latter who made the breakthrough, dismissing Clontarf skipper Shane O'Brien for just 4. Aaron McGeehan and John McNally navigated their way to tea with the score 27/1 and had set themselves a decent platform for after the restart.
After tea, the pair added a further 40 runs in 14 overs before McNally hammered a delivery from Padraic Flanagan to cover, where Varsh Shetty took the catch, he was dismissed for 23. McGeehan took 4 off the following over, before Paul Ryan faced up to Flanagan and was pinned in front, dismissed LBW without scoring. McGeehan and Kashif Ali added 26 runs in the next 9 overs, the opener passing his half-century, before he was also LBW to McDonnell for 51 in the 32nd over.
Flanagan then dismissed Daire Vickers for a duck to reduce Clontarf to 98/5, and rounded off an excellent spell of 3/21 from his 10 overs. Ali had been joined by Islam and the pair ticked down the runs slowly over the next 7 overs, before with 7 needed to win, Islam decided the time had come, he hit Streek over the top for 2, before depositing a massive 6 over mid-off to complete the chase and secure a 5 wicket win for Clontarf and along with it, the Division 3 title for the 2021 season.
This completed their League and Cup double, after the side had also won the Tillain Cup earlier in the season - congratulations to all players, coaches and officials involved in Clontarf 2nds on an excellent season in 2021.
AT ANGLESEA ROAD
YMCA - 111/10, 42.4 overs (E Johns 55; Z Ali 3/16, P Ryan 3/23, M Butler 2/19)
CLONTARF - 113/5, 39.5 overs (A McGeehan 51, J McNally 23; P Flanagan 3/21)
by 5 wickets