Phoenix and The Hills meet on Saturday June 8th in the final of the 2019 IBI Corporate Finance Leinster Senior League Cup. The Hills celebrating their 50th season have qualified for a home final with a 100% record, while Phoenix will travel to North Fingal with confidence having defeated favourites Merrion in last weekend’s semi-final.
Having marched through Group A, The Hills defeated Pembroke by 3-wickets in the semi-final for their seventh straight win of the season.
Daya Singh, Cormac McLoughlin-Gavin and Joey Carroll were identified as potential game winners for the Skerries side pre-game. While Singh did take three wickets, it was Naseer Shaukat’s 3-14 off 10 overs that were mainly responsible for Pembroke making just 114.
McLoughlin-Gavin top scored with 28 as The Hills chased down the small target. They did lose seven wickets and take more than 43 overs to do so but chase it down they did.
The important thing in a semi-final is to win and that was all that mattered to The Hills and playing in front of a bumper home crowd in the final is their reward.
Facing that home crowd will not faze Phoenix in the slightest. They’ve been playing knock-out cricket the last two weekends away from home, and that hasn’t gone too badly.
Having defeated Malahide in the Village to qualify for the semi-finals, Phoenix went to Anglesea Road last Saturday where they defeated Merrion by 37 runs.
Amish Sidhu stepped up to deliver a player of the match performance, scoring 38 with the bat and taking 5 for 21 with the ball in hand.
Simi Singh was in fine form last Saturday too, taking 3 wickets, a good catch and making a run a ball 27 to back up an unbeaten 79 against Malahide. He has been in fine form, as has Poonish Mehta and Nic Pretorius.
All three made half-centuries, as did precocious 17-year old wicket-keeper batsman Louis McDonough, in the Irish Senior Cup last Sunday as Phoenix hammered Eglinton.
Not to mention Ben Beecroft’s runs or Matt Lunson and Gordy Millar taking 5-wicket hauls to add to Sidhu’s over the last few weeks.
All The Hills’ big individual performances came much earlier in the League Cup season and having been idle for the last round of matches, they came through a scrappy match last weekend against Pembroke.
The important point, however, is that they did come through it. They are the team in the final with the 100% record and they are playing on home soil.
Best of luck from all @IBICorpFinance to @thehillscc and @phoenixcricket in the @cricketleinster Senior League Cup Final on Sat 8 June at 12pm in @thehillscc in Skerries. Hope everyone enjoys an extra-special occasion in the association's centenary year. #MakingAGreatDealHappen pic.twitter.com/ImtQwL9zOr— IBI CorporateFinance (@IBICorpFinance) June 6, 2019
The form guide says Phoenix should win this match. Yet this match is a final, and so often form books get thrown out the window on the big days.
After getting both results wrong in the semi-finals the two teams will want me to pick the other as the winner on Saturday.
The momentum and form are with Phoenix, while the romance of The Hills winning the Leinster Senior Cup in their home ground while celebrating their 50th anniversary writes itself.
Peter’s Prediction: Phoenix
Inside the pavilion on Saturday there will be a display of memorabilia, photographs, match programmes and scorecards giving a sample of the 100 years of history of cricket in Leinster. This exhibition is a precursor to the “100 Not Out” book compiled by Ger Siggins that will be published in October of this year.
IBI Corporate Finance Leinster Senior League Cup Final
Saturday 8th June 2019, 12pm start
The Hills v Phoenix, The Vineyard