Merrion put on a batting masterclass to warm the heart on a bitterly cold and windy day in Castle Avenue, as they defeated Clontarf by 70 runs in the IBI Corporate Finance Leinster Senior League Cup Group B tie.
Michael Lewis, backing up last week’s century, led the way with 90 runs off just 74 deliveries. An innings which included fully eight maximums, five of those coming off consecutive deliveries in the 36th over.
He did survive a big appeal from Clontarf when on 11 and how different the outcome may have been. The home side were sure they had their man caught behind off the bowling of Ropu Islam, but batsman and umpire remained unmoved.
“It’s obviously a great victory for us coming to Clontarf and beating them on their home ground. The batsmen came out, targeted the short boundary and used the conditions, which was brilliant,” said Lewis after the game.
“It’s nice to come off a hundred in the first match and hit the ball cleanly in the second game. At the end of the day, I’m here to set a foundation for the team and hopefully we can carry this form on into the next few weeks.
“We bat pretty deep which is great and we know that Max, TK or Lanky can all do the job for us and if one of us comes off every week we’ll be in a good place.”
As if to illustrate that point, Lewis’ display of exquisite power hitting was backed up by Merrion batting line-up. The evergreen John Anderson struck 79 (76 balls;7x4 2x6) while the last eight overs of the innings went for 99 runs.
That was due to the supposedly retired David Langford-Smith smashing 45 off 20 balls and Tyrone Kane ending 43 not out off 24 deliveries. Both hit three boundaries and three maximums in their respective innings.
None of the Clontarf bowlers was spared punishment although Joe Morrissey was rewarded for consistent effort with 3 for 53, while David Delany and Ropu Islam bowled economically in their early spells, 7 overs 0-16 and 7 overs 1-15 respectively.
Clontarf needed almost seven an over from the off in chasing 323, however Tyrone Kane and Max Sorensen restricted them to 33/1 after nine overs. Kane picking up the wicket of Macalister Wright and bowling to five slips at times.
Bill Coghlan (49) and Eoghan Delany (81) put on 98 for the second wicket and while they stayed together Clontarf had a sniff of victory.
When Shankar had Coghlan caught behind and Kane took a stupendous catch at point to dismiss Conor Gallagher, Clontarf were 117/3 and far behind the required rate.
Captain Eoghan Delany added some valuable runs, while David Delany smashed an entertaining 56 (29 balls; 5x4 3x6), including some excellent scoop shots, but Merrion continued taking wickets, pushing the home side further behind the run rate.
John Anderson brought himself on to bowl the final over and picked up the wicket of Morrissey with the final ball of the innings, meaning Clontarf finished on 252/8.
All told it was a comfortable 70-run victory for Merrion who moved to two wins from two before a home tie with Rush tomorrow, while Clontarf have now lost two from two. With no match tomorrow, Clontarf have a week to contemplate their situation before they travel to Leinster next Saturday.
IBI Corporate Finance Leinster Senior League Cup
Clontarf v Merrion, Saturday April 27th, Castle Avenue
Merrion 322/6 47 overs (M Lewis 90, J Anderson 79, D Langford-Smith 45, T Kane 43*; J Morrissey 3-53 R Islam 1-48)
Clontarf 252/8 47 overs (E Delany 81, D Delany 56, B Coghlan 49; T Kane 2-31, N Shankar 2-58)
Merrion win by 70 runs