Malahide secured an 85-run victory over defending champions Merrion thanks to an all-round performance that saw two half-centuries and six bowlers get amongst the wickets.
After choosing to bat first, Malahide were quickly 0 for 2 as Ollie Newton (3-49) took two wickets in the first over, before he bowled Greg Ford to leave the visitors 41/3.
Two big partnerships in the middle order made the difference for Malahide. Arjun Muntha (68) and Matt Ford (73) put on 77 for the fourth wicket before Ford and Fintan McAlister (43) put on 95 for the sixth wicket to take the visitors passed 200.
Nitin Sharma took five wickets in his ten over spell for Merrion, but those key batting partnerships pushed Malahide to a very good score of 242 all out off the penultimate ball of the innings, a cracking effort given where they had been after the first over.
A balanced bowling attack from Malahide saw all six bowlers taking wickets, while their out-fielding was consistently sharp. Matt Ford with a sharp run out, McAlister with a sharp stumping and all catches sticking. Not something that could be said about Merrion who put more than one on the ground in the first innings.
After Damien Mortimer (3-28) dismissed Langford-Smith caught and bowled for 19, the promotion of Sean Stanton to number four didn’t work, as he was out LBW first ball, leaving Merrion 41/3.
When Keith Reynolds (2-40) dismissed Michael Lewis and Max Sorensen in quick succession the home side were 51/5 and in all sorts of bother.
Through it all John Anderson displayed the class and composure he’s known for, spraying the ball all along the ground to all parts as he composed his impressive 57 off 101. However, when quick hands from McAlister had him out stumped, Malahide were in full control as the home side were 108/7 with 18 overs remaining and 135 runs required.
Patrick Tice showed some steel to remain undefeated on 34 however Ford’s run out of Newton (10), coupled with Mortimer and Kelvin Donnelly (1-23) picking up a wicket each at the other end meant Merrion were all out for 157 inside 42 overs.
In Saturday’s other games, there were three easy victories for The Hills, Phoenix and Pembroke.
Nazeer Shaukat took 3-22 for The Hills as they bowled Leinster out for 106 in 34 overs, despite 40 from Monil Patel. The Hills comfortably chased down the target in 25 overs, Joey Carroll’s unbeaten 63 (10x4, 1x6) taking them to an 8-wicket win.
At the same time in Rush, a half-century from Harry Archer (58) was the only bright spot for the home side as Amish Sidhu took 6-33 to bowl the Fingal side out for 127 in the 33rd over.
Ben Beecroft made short work of the chase, smashing nine boundaries and four maximums in his 76 not out that took the Park residents to an 8-wicket win of their own.
At Pembroke, the home side bowled YMCA out for 188 inside 44 overs with Jack Balbirnie taking 4 for 40. Bobby Gamble top-scored for the visitors with 46.
Pembroke found runs at a premium to begin with in the chase, findings themselves just 79/2 after 27 overs. However, Theo Lawson chipped in with a half-century and an unbroken 69-run partnership for the fourth wicket between Dane Heverin (58*) and Shaheen Khan (40*) saw the home victorious by 7-wickets with more than five overs to spare.
LHW Financial Planning Cricket Leinster Premier League
Merrion v Malahide, Saturday June 29th, Anglesea Road
Malahide 242 a/o 49.5/50 overs (M Ford 73, A Muntha 68, F McAlister 44; N Sharma 5-50, O Newton 3-49)
Merrion 157 a/o 41.5/50 overs (J Anderson 57, P Tice 34*; D Mortimer 3-28, K Reynolds 2-40, M Ford 1-11)
Malahide win by 85 runs