The final round of the IBI Corporate Finance Cricket Leinster Premier League and Championship was played out this afternoon, with the bottom of the Premier League, and both ends of the Championship all still very much live battles at the beginning of the day.
Starting off in the Premier League, the game between the newly crowned champions, Balbriggan, and YMCA falling foul to the recent inclement weather, the square and surrounding areas too wet to see play at any stage today, both sides receiving 12.5 points for the 'No Result'.
In Sydney Parade, Merrion put together a decent total of 204/7 from their 50 overs, thanks to 87 from Stephen Doheny and an unbeaten 41 from Sean Stanton, Paul Lawson taking 2/48 for the home side. In reply, Pembroke fell 44 runs short, Lorcan Tucker top scoring with 31 as Merrion shared the bowling burden among no fewer than 9 different options, Jack Carty proving the pick with 3/13 from 5 overs, whilst Swapnil Modgil and Amish Sidhu both also snared two victims.
Clontarf and The Hills faced off in Milverton, the away side batting first and making 235/9 thanks to 60s from Eoghan and David Delany, whilst PJ Moor also made 37, skipper Tómas Rooney-Murphy and Ash Bain both took three wickets for the home side. In response, Murray Commins was the stand out player for The Hills, his 110, supported by Mark Donegan's 42 as the home side made an excellent effort at the chase, eventually falling 15 runs short as they were all out for 220, David Delany's 5/40 the stand out bowling performance, supported by two wickets for each of Ruan Cronje and Fionn Hand.
That margin of victory left the door slightly ajar for Phoenix to leapfrog the Castle Avenue side and find their way to safety, they were set a moderate task of 193 for victory by Malahide, Agbinesh Paul making 55 and Fintan McAllister 33 for the Villagers. Phoenix's spin pair of Ben White and Dev Ranolia both taking three wickets apiece. The chase started very well, the home side had reached 100 for the loss of just Nicolaas Pretorius, Stephen Black and George Dockrell making 50 and 33 respectively, however the chase was stunted by two wickets for each of Cameron Shoebridge, Mike Frost and Shane Getkate. Phoenix eventually chased the total for the loss of 7 wickets with 4 overs to spare, however that wasn't enough to help them overtake Clontarf, and sees them join Pembroke in the bottom 2 in the table for the 2022 season.
The top of the Championship table had a simple enough equation to decide the champions, any win for Leinster would secure the title for the Rathmines side, they batted first against Cork Harlequins and thanks to Gareth Delany's 56, supported by 23 from Saqib Bahadur and Mark Tonge's 27*, made 176/9 in their 50 overs. Adam Hickey's 4/25 helping restrict the home side. In response, Delany backed up his earlier effort with 5/24, whilst Bahadur took 4/29 as Harlequins were all out for 115, meaning Leinster were crowned champions.
The battle for 2nd would be decided based on who gleaned more points between Railway Union and North Kildare, Railway bowled first in Rush and thanks to Hamza Maan's 6/20 and Fakhar Zaman's 3/36 restricted the home side to 141 all out, Jack McGee's 51 the best resistance on offer. Ashil Prakash made 79* and Phillippe le Roux 43* as Railway recovered from the early loss of Kenny Carroll to secure a 9 wicket win and 25 points, to put them in the box seat to keep 2nd place.
North Kildare faced Terenure, with the away side knowing anything but a win would see them finish in the relegation zone, Terenure were inserted and North Kildare reduced them to 54/7 inside 15 overs, Devansh Bansali with three wickets and Abdul Sattar taking two. Raghav Grover's 62 and Sadiq Safi's unbeaten 49 helped The Clee to 169 all out in 45 overs as Manjeet Singh and Imran Ul Haq also took two wickets each. In response, Mark Thomas took 3/22 from his 10 overs, before some resistance from Ul-Haq and Shahzad Noman, before Raghav Grover rounded off the day with 4/21 from 9 overs, bowling North Kildare out for 98 and securing a 23 point win for the visiting side.
With the top two spots decided, Terenure had done all they could do and were left waiting on the result of North County vs Cork County to determine their fate. North County batted first in Inch and thanks to half-centuries from Niall McGovern, Jamie Grassi and Jonno Andrews, made their way to 292 all out inside 49 overs. Harsh Jangra the pick of the bowlers for Cork County, taking 4/48 in 9 overs. In response, Cork County were always behind the game, as 8 North County bowlers shared the wickets in restricting them to just 113 all out in 31 overs, securing a 179 run win for North County, and condemning Cork County to the bottom 2 in the final table.