In the opening round of the SportsHub Senior League Cup, ‘Premier League’ sides prevailed in 6 of the 8 fixtures in sunny and warm conditions throughout the day.
The notable exceptions to this were Rush’s triumph at home in Kenure over Leinster by 31 runs and the shock of the day where Dublin University completely outshone their visitors atCollege Park defeating Phoenix by 50 runs in a one-sided affair.
In Kenure, Rush posted 179 thanks to Nathan McGuire (52), Abbasi (47) and Barnes (31) who all scored at an excellent strike rate and whilst Bahadur got Leinster off to a similar fast-paced start, they were unable to keep up with the required rate once Bahadur had become the first of Daniel Coffey’s 4 victims – Coffey finishing with 4-23 well supported by Nathan McGuire who had an excellent all round game bowling his 4 overs for just 16 runs.
The foundations of Trinity’s success was an accomplished 52 from Leinster Lightning Head Coach Nigel Jones (which included 2 sixes and 3 fours), supported by a solid knock from Sanil Gupta and late momentum from Gavin Hoey’s big hitting.
Trinity then backed this up in the field by a strong team performance with the ball brilliantly spearheaded by Max Neville who ripped the heart out of the Phoenix reply removing Grassi, McDonough and Kane for an aggregate of just 12 runs. Despite some late resistance from Aaron Cawley, Phoenix found themselves bundled out for just 87.
Meanwhile in Terenure, YMCA batted first having won the toss. In spite of a pair of early run outs. Jack Tector (43) and Bobby Gamble (36) added 77 for the third wicket. From where Tom Anders’ late 32* saw them to a score of 152/6 in their 20 overs.
Terenure started slowly in reply with Mick Cotter’s 32 the mainstay of the innings - in spite of this they were never really in the chase, finishing on 102/6 in their 20. Cillian McDonnell 2/24 the pick of the bowlers with Rory Anders (1/12) and Mikey O’Reilly (1/11) also particularly economical in their defense.
North Kildare and Pembroke met at The Maws and it was another away win. Theo Lawson’s unbeaten 71 backboned the Pembroke score of 141/5 in their 20 overs. Scott Ruttle took 4-25 as North Kildare were bowled out for 118 despite 30 from Husnain Maroof.
Clontarf faced a long trek to Cork County and The Mardyke but will be happy with an 84-run victory. Forrest (41), Moor (39) and Delany (35) all started the season well as Clontarf made 170/5. In response Hand took 4-12 as Cork could only muster 86/8.
Malahide crossed the city to face Railway Union at Park Avenue. Keith Reynolds took 3-7 and Cameron Shoebridge 4-26 for the visitors as Railway made just 107/9 off their 20 overs. Alan Reynolds’ quickfire 37 and a run-a-ball 30 not out for Matt Ford gave Malahide a straightforward 8-wicket victory with four overs to spare.
There was a local derby at The Vineyard as The Hills hosted North County. The visitors posted 137/8 as John Mooney (31) and John Devane (29) top scored.
The Hills captain Tomas Rooney-Murphy took 3-19 off his four overs. Despite Owen Graham taking two wickets in the first over of the reply, Mark Donegan (47) and an unbeaten 40-odd from Levon Shields saw The Hills home to a comfortable 7-wicket victory.
The tightest result margin was undoubtedly Merrion’s win over Balbriggan by just 5 runs at Jack Harper Memorial Park and Peter Boyd was there to report on all the action alongside Oisin Keniry who captured the big moments for our photo album.
Balbriggan v Merrion
Jack Carty shone with both bat and ball as Merrion battled to a 6-run victory over Balbriggan in Group C of the Sports Hub Leinster Senior League Cup at Jack Harper Memorial Park on Monday.
After losing the toss and being inserted, Carty (49) guided the visitors to the perfect launchpad of 65/1 off 10 overs.
John Anderson (12) was the only wicket to fall caught at mid-wicket by Abdul Samad off Abdul Sattar, although Balbriggan will be disappointed that a little rustiness in the field meant a couple of chances went down in those early overs and there were some sloppy overthrows.
Carty took advantage of his reprieves as he struck four boundaries and a beautiful pick-up six over square leg, but he was gutted to fall just one short of what would have been a deserved half-century.
Carty was the third wicket to fall as Merrion slipped from 79/1 to 93/5 in 19 deliveries as Balbriggan showed great determination and fortitude in the field.
Chris de Freitas (3-28), Abdul Sattar (2-28) and Farooq Nasr (1-15) all kept plugging away and were rewarded with wickets as the visitors were restricted to 127/7 off their allocation.
In response Nasr (38) and fellow opener Connor Fletcher (38) put on 71 for the first wicket and put Balbriggan in a strong position to chase down the target.
Both openers took advantage of local knowledge to score in areas they were comfortable smashing eight boundaries and three maximums between them.
While it was Hugh Kennedy (1-27) who made the initial breakthrough in having Fletcher caught at mid-on by a diving Sorensen, it was the James Hitchcock bowling the 14th over that dragged Merrion into the game.
The first ball of the over saw Nasr caught at long-on by Dom Joyce, while with his fourth ball, he removed Greg Ford’s middle stump.
Balbriggan weren’t going away however and when Nathan Rooney burst a 6 through Sean Stanton’s hands on the deep mid-wicket boundary, the home side needed 27 off 24 with seven wickets in hand.
However, a combination of experienced bowling and secure catching in the outfield meant Balbriggan lost five wickets in those final overs and could only add 20 runs as they lost by 6-runs.
Merrion will be delighted to have started the season with a victory despite not playing at their best, while Balbriggan under new Head Coach Andre Botha showed signs that they will trouble lots of sides this season.
Sports Hub Leinster Senior League Cup Group C
Jack Harper Memorial Park, Balbriggan
Balbriggan v Merrion, Monday June 7
Merrion 127/7 20 Overs (J Carty 49, D Joyce 18*; C de Freitas 3-28, A Sattar 2-28)
Balbriggan 121/8 20 Overs (C Fletcher 38, F Nasr 38; J Hitchcock 3-20, J Carty 2-16)
Merrion won by 6 runs