Leinster 1 vs Balbriggan 1 - Like an ancient TV sitting in the corner of the room, the Premier League needs a little bit of a jolt this weekend, after being stuck for two weeks. Surely the weather will allow some play this week? Without going over the details of where everyone stands, the Premier League is tight, with 24 points from Leinster in first to Balbriggan in sixth. All three league meetings between the teams in Observatory Lane have been won by Leinster, with the most recent being in July 2016. Gareth Delany scored 96 for Leinster, his fourth senior 50 at the time (he has now passed it 14 times), with Ehtesham Ahmed taking 4-36 - Leinster making 282/8. Balbriggan never challenged the the Leinster bowlers sharing the wickets (Bilal Azhar, Tim Law, George Dockrell and Joey Carroll) as Balbriggan were 148 all out.
Merrion 1 vs Clontarf 1 - Clontarf's recent run of three wins started with a victory at home over Merrion and they now travel to Anglesea Road. The run started with Tarf trying to get off the bottom of the table - now they are looking at the title. The sides sit in 4th and 5th, with only one point between them. It is not particularly relevant, but Clontarf have an excellent record over the years in Anglesea Road, winning 43 and losing 23. In the last ten years it is a much closer affair with each team having four wins each. The September 2018 game was a classic, as Merrion ran up 312/9, with 84 for Dom Joyce, 82 for John Anderson and 78 for Tyrone Kane. Shariful Islam took 5-54 for Clontarf, the most recent five wicket haul of his senior career. Bill Coghlan responded with 111, his last (and ninth) senior hundred of his career, and one of only two occasions that he scored more than 108. But there wasn't too much support, with Richard Bisgood taking 3-43, his best bowling from the three occasions he bowled in a senior match. Merrion won by 53 runs.
The Hills 1 vs YMCA 1 - The Premier League may be tight between 1st and 6th but there is then a 20 point gap to The Hills in 7th place, and they can't allow that to grow. In the history of this fixture (in The Vineyard), YMCA have only once won consecutive fixtures - 20 September 1986 when YM won a league match by 10 wickets and then 9 July 1988, when they won by 6 wickets. Last year saw one of the few instances of brothers scoring tons in the same match, when Jack (107) and Tim (105) Tector added 200 for the second wicket on 25th June. That is only the second highest partnership between Tector brothers in senior cricket, as Jack (88) and Harry (137) added 117 for the second wicket against Rush in August 2019.
Railway Union 1 vs Malahide 1 - There are now only six games remaining for Railway Union to make up the 43 point difference between them and relegation safety. How many wins will Malahide need to take their first league title since 1981? It's obviously difficult to know. Perhaps five more wins? Maybe only four? Looks back through history Railway had an awful run in this fixture in the 1960s and 1970s. Railway won by 2 wickets on 3 August 1959, but failed to win any of the next seven (two draws and five losses). They won by 9 wickets on 4 September 1966 after bowling Malahide out for 62, but then embarked on another disastrous run, drawing five and losing six before Railway's next win came on 4 June 1979. That is only one win over Malahide at home between August 1959 and June 1979!
Phoenix 1 vs North County 1 - Phoenix look as if they are going to be locked into a battle with Rush for the rest of the season as they jostle for second place. North County look to be well clear of Civil Service and North Kildare behind them, but promotion looks out of reach, so it could be a low key few weeks in Balrothery. North County haven't won in Phoenix in a senior game since July 2018. Jamie Grassi scored 91 (his 4th highest senior score for North County) and Malcolm Nofal 61 as County ran up a useful 265 all out. David Vernon took 4-70, one of two four wicket hauls in his four matches for Phoenix in 2018. Once Reinhardt Strydom was out with the score on 22, Phoenix were always struggling, being bowled out for 165, with Nofal taking 5-16. That was his joint ever best bowling for County, recording the same figures two months previously against The Hills
North Kildare 1 vs Pembroke 1 - The Pembroke steamroller travels to bottom of the Championship table North Kildare. North Kildare are only half a point behind Civil Service and so have a decent chance of getting enough points to move off the bottom. Another pair of teams who have only played once before, the reverse fixture on July 1. Diarmaid Tucker made 65 and Nick Stapleton made 119 as Pembroke ran up 368/8, their second highest limited over total in Leinster cricket, behind 412/6 against Rush in June 2012. Stapleton then took 4-28 as North Kildare were all out for 165. Stapleton currently has 33 senior wickets at 7.76. That is the 26th best average for a season ever in Leinster senior cricket (for those who have taken 33 wickets or more) and the third best for Pembroke - the best for them was MB Williams' 46 wickets at 6.78 in 1957.
Rush 1 vs Cork County 1 - Rush are still in with a decent shout of second place in the Championship, only one point behind Phoenix in 2nd place. Cork County look to be our of the running at both ends of the table, safely in 5th place. The match in Kenure last season saw Cork County run up 264 all out, with 50s for Ross Durity (57) and Cormac Hassett (58). For Rush, Daniel Coffey took 4-41 and Aaron McGuire 4-47 (his best senior bowling figures). But the record-breaking part of the day was still to come. Sukhpal Singh took 5-11 (his best bowling figures in 27 senior matches, and the 4th best for Cork County in Leinster senior cricket) as Rush were bowled out for 39. That is Rush's joint lowest ever total, equaling their effort against Merrion in June 2008.
Civil Service 1 vs Terenure 1 - Terenure may be down in 4th, but they are only 25 points behind Phoenix in second place. Civil Service are in 7th and desperately need a win to lift them out of the danger zone. The only senior game between the teams was on July 1 this year, when Raghav Grover (130) and Donal Lynch (107) put in 230 for the fifth wicket for Terenure as they made 370/7. It was Terenure's second highest ever total (after 383/5 against Dublin University 1 in 2010) and the highest 5th wicket partnership we have on record (going back to 2011). Two hundreds in the same match for Terenure 1 is surprisingly common. It is the fourth time since 2011 - Christian/Bray vs North Kildare in Sept 2017; Speake/McDonald vs Balbriggan in August 2015 and Fisher/Lawrence vs Leinster 2 in August 2013. Civil Service replied well, making 300 all out, with Arjun Chandrasekar making 88*.
Knockharley 1 vs YMCA 3 - No preview as waiting for scorecard of Cork Harlequins 1 vs YMCA 3 (July 1)
YMCA 2 vs Malahide 2 - No preview as waiting for scorecards of North County 2 vs Malahide 2 (July 23) and Malahide 2 vs Pembroke 2 (July 16)
Pembroke 5 vs Wicklow County 2 - Pembroke's win over Swords last week has catapulted them up to 3rd in Division 16. 18 points cover third to eighth so expect similar over the coming weeks!. Wicklow County are now below Pembroke in 5th place, but do have three games in hand. Wicklow County 2 are now waiting nearly six years to beat Pembroke 5 with their last win coming in August 2017. John (56) and MacDara Joyce (41) added 99 for the 6th wicket to get Wicklow County to 205/5. Pembroke got close, with three batters getting into their 30s, Sean Smith the highest with 39. In the end they made 190/5 from their 35 overs.
Malahide 3 vs Adamstown 1 - The top two in Division 5 meet in a match that will have more of an effect on the destination of the title than it will on who gets promoted. Malahide will be in a healthy position whatever happens today, but a loss for Adamstown will leave them close to Sandyford who are snapping up their heels. But a Malahide win would leave Adamstown over 50 points behind Malahide with six games remaining. There has only been one previous match between the teams, a Middle Cup game in June 2016. A strong looking Malahide team had Michael O'Brien score 114* (with former international cricketers Mary Waldron (28) and Jimmy Govan (23) scoring well as well. Malahide's 201/3 looked good, but somehow Adamstown won despite no one scoring more than Aman Yadav's 38. At 120/6 it looked all over for Adamstown, but runs for Haseeb Khan (27), Kamil Mahajan (35) and Jikmy Bansal (24*) saw them home with 5 balls to spare.
North County 5 vs Malahide 5 - From second to eighth, Division 14 is fairly tight (Ongar 2 at the top being the exception). North County are down in 7th place, but have played only five games and are only 22 points behind Malahide in third place having played three games less. Malahide may be looking at the promotion spots above them, but until a few more games are played, they would be as well keeping an eye over their shoulder. The reverse league match on May 14 was a cracker. Malahide made 141 all out, with Bhanu Gokarla top scoring with 34 and Srinivas Yerramsetti (3-21) Jake Devane (3-31) both contributing for North County. At 57-1 North County were well in control, before they lost four quick wickets to sit at 60-5. Srinivas Karra (3-29), Gokarla (3-32) and Omkar Tawade (3-37) kept chipping away, but an excellent 54* from Mohammad Shoaib (his first 50 for North County in a 12 game career) put County once again in the driving seat. However 121/6 became 124/9, before an excellent 18 run last wicket partnership between Shoaib and Mahad Gull (3*) got North County home.
Leinster 4 vs Laois 2 - No preview as waiting for scorecard of Wicklow County 1 vs Clontarf 5 (July 16)
Clontarf 3 vs Sandyford 1 - No preview as waiting for scorecard of Laois 1 vs Sandyford 1 (July 22)
Carlow 4 vs Clontarf 7 - Division 20 is all about the development of young players and being the bottom league in the Cricket Leinster Open Comps pyramid, there is no relegation. The only places to be worried about are the top two, opening up the possibility of promotion. Clontarf are only 13 places behind second place Pembroke 6 (although Pembroke have two games in hand). Carlow are down in 6th and don't have a realistic chance of getting into the top two. The match between the sides on June 3 was a great advert for the Development League, with the next generation of stars getting their chance. MacNeice scored 44 at the top of the order for Clontarf, and Stephen McGeer added 30* at the end to get Tarf to 208/4 from 35 overs. Saif Islam then made 53 as Carlow got to 177/2.
Lucan 1 vs Civil Service 4 - With Dublin University 2 already relegated in Division 9, Civil Service 4 only need to worry about overtaking one team to escape relegation. Currently they are 21 points behind Castleknock 2 in 6th, and could do with a win. Lucan are in 4th, but little separates North Kildare 3 in third (109 points) with Castleknock 2 in sixth (90 points) so Lucan can not afford to rest on their laurels. The reverse fixture on July 1st saw Lucan run up a massive 353/5. Vipul Arora scored 146, his second ton in 25 matches for Lucan. It is the second highest score for Lucan (after Atul Khurana's 164* against Ashbourne 1 in June 2021) and is the highest total in the history of Lucan 1 (177 matches). Harshit Jain hit 46* at number 9, but Service were bowled out for 158 to lose by 194 runs. It was both Lucan 1's highest winning margin by runs and Civil Service 4's highest losing margin by runs.
Swords 3 vs Castleknock 3 - Castleknock are well clear at the top of Division 16 with a 33 point gap over Terenure 4 in second. Swords are down in 6th, but in such a tight league, they could be up to third with a win today. Swords beat Castleknock for the first time in the reverse fixture on July 9. Anoop Varghese took 3-29 to help restrict Castleknock to 145/6 (Waleed Sajid top scoring with 50) before Chaitanya Krishna Sarangapani hit 66 (his highest score in 77 innings for Swords) at the top of the order to set Swords on the way to 146/2 with 12 balls to spare.
Mullingar 2 vs Phoenix 5 - Mullingar have still only played the five matches, so their 6th place doesn't tell the full story. Phoenix are one place above them but only have four games left to protect themselves against relegation. Promotion could be mathematically impossible after today. Their one previous meeting saw Akshay Beniwal hit a brilliant 81 for Phoenix, but no one else could stay with him, Phoenix being bowled out for 149 (Conor Mount taking 3-9 for Mullingar and PJ Mount 3-43). But after getting to 92-3, Mullingar kept losing wickets, and it needed the last pair, bowling heroes PJ and Conor Mount to score the last five runs to get Mullingar over the line.
Pembroke 3 vs Carlow 1 - Lots of games in hand for Carlow 1 and Pembroke 1 in Division 6 but they need to start winning to escape relegation. Carlow are in 6th on 86 points with Pembroke a place further back but 24 points behind. Pembroke are 4-7 for the season, with their top run scorer being 15 year old Ethan Clarke with 357 runs at 119. Three bowlers have taken 11 wickets for Pembroke 3 - Bruce Whaley, Bill Whaley and Luke Murray. Carlow's run scoring is led by Amir Mehmood with 215 at 26.88 and their leading wicket taker is Saqib Nagra with 22 at 12.86
Naas 2 vs DLR County 2 - DLR County still have six games to go in the nine team Division 17, but they look to have the title sewn up, with 212 points and a 48 point lead over Adamstown 7 behind them. But further down the league is tight. Naas maybe down in 8th place, but a win today could send them up to 5th. The only previous match between the teams was on April 8th this year when Naas were bowled out for 74 with Krishna Chedimala taking 4-11, his best ever bowling return in a 69 match Cricket Leinster career. In the second innings, Soumya Shah took all four DLR County wickets to fall (4-17) but DLR County cruised home with Chhandak Barman top scoring with 38.
Merrion 5 vs Rush 3 - As we move towards the end of the season it is worth remembering that for all the talk of promotion and relegation, the 2024 leagues are decided by the OCC and normally have to be rejigged to cater for the number of teams. With YMCA 4 dropping out of Division 11, there are only seven teams, and it would seem likely (although not impossible) that the normal "two down" will not apply. Merrion are in 6th place, but with four games in hand on Naas below them (and 24 points ahead) and three games in hand on Swords above them (and 20 points behind) so are not in too bad a position. Rush are in 4th place, but with two games in hand on second place Tyrrelstown 2 and only 16 points behind. The revere fixture on July 1 saw a big 66 run win for Rush with Hassan Shahid scoring his first Open Comps century with 113. He has already taken 8-15 in a innings this year for Rush 2 vs Clontarf 3. Further research will be needed to look for comparable performances! James King also scored 78* to get Rush to 267/5. A valiant effort by Merrion got them to 201 all out with eight batters getting to double figures but none more than Pashtoon Barkzai's 33.
Terenure 3 vs Sandyford 2 - Leaders of Division 12, Sandyford 2 travel to Terenure. The top two (Sandyford and Lucan) have a big 50 point lead over the rest, so the onus is on Terenure to win well today. These two teams haven't played in Terenure since August 2014. Sandyford's all time (2011-present) run scorer Srikanth Boddu scored 51 as Sandyford made only 116 all out, Philip Rout taking 3-28 and Aaron O'Neill 3-20. Then an opening partnership of 93 between Mick Cotter (60) and Danny Hogan (56*) put the game beyond doubt as Terenure won by 8 wickets.
Dundalk 1 vs North Kildare 5 - Dundalk hold a handsome 56 point lead at the top of Division 13, although Wexford Wanderers 2 in second have a game in hand. North Kildare are down in 7th place, but would go up to fifth if they won their two games in hand. North Kildare's last visit to Hiney Park, in September last year ended in a large 155 run defeat. Jithin John hit 65 for Dundalk, and Umer Khan struck 82 from 37 balls at number 8 - the highest score by a number 8 for Dundalk 1. 321 turned out to be far too many for North Kildare, and no one scored more than Mohammed Muzammil's 41 as they were bowled out for 166.
North Kildare 3 vs The Hills 3 - North Kildare, third place in Division 9 host The Hills who are in second place. The Hills could just about go top this evening with a maximum points win, but would slip below North Kildare should the Kilcock side win. Remarkably the two teams have never played each other, with North Kildare generally being four divisions below The Hills' third string for most of the past 40 years. But these things change, and for the first time they are playing at the same level. Nurulain Boda is North Kildare's leading run scorer this year with 252 run at 36, with their top wicket taker being Adeel Haider with 10 wickets at 18.1. For The Hills, their leading run scorer is Ashad Farooqi with 176 runs at 35.20 with their top wicket taker being Muhammad Hassan with 13 at 12.54
Wexford Wanderers 2 vs Finglas 2 - Second hosts third in Division 13, in a match with real consequences. Wexford have a game in hand on Finglas, and a Wexford win would leave Finglas 30 points behind with Wexford having a game in hand. Alternatively, a Finglas win today will put them into second, with Wexford looking to win their game in hand to retake second place. The only completed match between the teams was a 2021 Minor cup semi final. Finglas made 97 all out (Tony Murray 3-5), which Wexford chased with 13 balls to spare thanks to Sean Dunk's 46*.
Adamstown 7 vs Athlone 3 - Potentially an important match in Division 17. Adamstown are in second place, , but 48 points behind leaders DLR County 2. Athlone are in 4th place and another 60 points behind. They sound like big margins but with 16 matches to be played in this nine team division, there is still a long way to go - but a loss for either team may mean too big a gap to make up. Adamstown are an impressive 9-2 for the year with Mohan Kumar Satyanarayana their leading run scorer (327 runs at 32.70) and also their leading wicket taker with 21 at 11.19. Athlone are a decent 7-4 for the year, with Kumuditha Athukorala leading the way with the bat with 216 runs at 24. Their top wicket taker is Rohit Jha with 15 wickets at 18.27
Bagenalstown 1 vs North County 3 - North County were one of the few sides to beat the weather last weekend, beating Phoenix 4 in Division 8. They have now won their last two games, lifting themselves to third in the league, with two games in hand on Knockharley 2 above them, who are 37 points ahead. Bagenalstown are also 37 points behind the team above, but that is in bottom place, and they need a home win today. The teams have only played once before, in a Division 7 match in McGrath pArk in August 2017, that Bagenalstown won by 9 wickets. County were in big trouble at 14-4, but 50 from Zahid Imran, and contributions from Stephen Mooney (35) and Yasir Mir (39) got them to 160/7 from 45 overs. That was an easy chase for Bagenalstown, with Bernard O'Mara scoring 75, Nadun Jasinghe 58* and Marcel Bruns 20* to win by 9 wickets with 15 overs to spare. After winning by 9 or 10 wickets four times in 2016 and 2017, Bagenalstown have not won by such a margin since.
Balbriggan 3 vs Railway Union 4 - No preview as waiting for scorecard of Wicklow County 1 vs Clontarf 5 (July 16)
Adamstown 3 vs Castleknock 2 - Two teams that are slightly closer to the relegation places in Division 9 than the promotion spots. With Dublin University 2 already relegated, there is only one more spot to be decided, and it currently looks like being between these two and Civil Service 4. However lots can change, with five or six games left for each side. The teams haven't met since June 2018 in Division 10. Raj Kumar Mahanti took 4-24 for Adamstown as Castleknock found themselves at 62/7 before runs from Chandar Lal (49), Naveid Nazir (23*) and Faran Khalid (24) got them to 144 all out. THat was to be plenty as Adamstown also collapsed badly (to 57/8) with the wickets shared. Late runs for Sunny Sehrawat got Adamstown to 114, but it was too late.
Castleknock 1 vs Phoenix 3 - No preview as waiting for scorecard of Greystones 1 vs Castleknock 1 (July 15)
Greystones 1 vs Tyrrelstown 1 - No preview as waiting for scorecard of Greystones 1 vs Castleknock 1 (July 15)
Tyrrelstown 3 vs Adamstown 5 - 35 points separate Adamstown in 6th place in Division 13 from Tyrrelstown in 4th place. They both looks to be consigned to mid-table safety but with both sides only at the half way stage of the season, a good run could take them to the top. Tyrrelstown may only be a couple of places above Adamstown in the league, but they have dominated the three previous matches between the sides. Adamstown have batted first in all three of those games, and have never scored more than the 155 all out they made in the league game this year on June 11. Faisal Iqbal had made 52 batting at number 10. Tyrrelstown did struggle, only winning by 1 wicket with 12 balls to spare. Faisal's innings is the only 50 ever to be scored by an Adamstown number 10 .
Kilkenny 1 vs Civil Service 3 - No preview as waiting for scorecard of Greystones 1 vs Castleknock 1 (July 15)
Ongar 1 vs Adamstown 5 - Ongar 1 of Division 14 host Division 13's Adamstown 5 in the Junior Cup semi final, the tier 8 cup competition. Ongar finished top of Group A with an unbeaten 5-0 record. Adamstown came second in Group B with a 3-2 record, going through ahead of Clondalkin 2 with the better head to head record. Watch out for Ongar's Anup Kishen who scored 155 runs at 51.67 in the group stages and Karthick Natarajan who took 7-85 from 18 overs. From Adamstown, watch Vinayak Komati who scored 153 runs at 30.6 and Avinash Avinash who took 5-106 from 21 overs.
Sandyford 4 vs Dundalk 2 - The top two in Division 19 meet in this Adamstown Cup semi final. There is obviously very little between the teams in the league, so this should be a cracker. Dundalk finished as runners up in Group B with Sandyford winning Group A after tying with Ongar 2 and Adamstown 7 and going through on net run rate. Dundalk had a not particularly impressive 2-2 record to advance, whilst Sandyford were 3-1. Viswanathan Umamaheswaran has scored 132 runs at 33 for Sandyford, with Sudhakar Padam the bowler to watch out for with 2-51 from 12 overs in the competition this year. For Dundalk, Jithin John led the way with the bat with 110 runs at 110, and the top bowler was Binu Sekara Pillai who took 5-68 from 14.