A devastating spell of bowling from Oliver Newton, demolished the Hills’ top-order and powered Merrion into the LHW Financial Planning Premier League Grand Final on home soil against Pembroke next Saturday, September 7th.
Defending 198 all out, Merrion required early wickets and Newton duly obliged. His six over spell to open the bowling from the Hazeldene End saw him take five wickets for just 21 runs as he ran through The Hills’ card.
Newton started as early as the first over, trapping Leinster Lightning batsman Cormac McLoughlin-Gavin LBW, before dismissing Joey Carroll via the same method. Daya Singh (15) and Greg Lamb departed in successive balls as Merrion turned the screw, leaving The Hills 39/5.
Newton missed out on the hat-trick with his first ball of the next over but had his fifth wicket when Ranolia (12) nicked behind to Langford-Smith in the slips.
James Groom (2-22) took up the cudgel for Merrion from the Stephenson’s End, taking over from Tyrone Kane (1-16). Groom also combined with Tom Stanton to run out Lakhotia for the eighth wicket as The Hills’ challenge dissipated.
It was Stanton who confirmed the victory, bowling Malcolm Byrne who struck two boundaries and a huge six to square leg in an entertaining innings of 15.
With the dismissal of Byrne, The Hills were all out for 73 inside 20 overs and Merrion had qualified for the Grand Final with a 125-run victory.
Earlier, Merrion had posted 198 all out off 46.5 overs in their innings as Tyrone Kane top-scored with 49.
Kane was dismissed by an unplayable yorker from Daya Singh (2-26) but was the ninth wicket to fall, by which time his run a ball innings and similar from Max Sorensen (33 off 33) had propelled Merrion to what became a match-winning score.
Dom Joyce (36 off 57) and John Anderson (40 off 74) played steady hands for the home side as they saw off an economical spell from Luke Clinton (10-4-24-2), to allow an increase in the run rate later in the innings.
Little did we know at half-time that a score of just under 200 would be more than enough for Merrion, thanks in no small part to the outstanding Kiwi, Oliver Newton.
Next Saturday September 7th sees the Grand Final of the LHW Financial Planning Premier League take place between Merrion and Pembroke at Anglesea Road. The Irish Senior Cup champions against the side that finished top of the round robin phase in the league, it promises to be a belter.
LHW Financial Planning Cricket Leinster Premier League
Merrion v The Hills, Saturday August 31st, Anglesea Road
Merrion 198 a/o 46.5 overs (T Kane 49, J Anderson 40, D Joyce 36; J Carroll 3-44, L Clinton 2-24, T Rooney-Murphy 2-26)
The Hills 73 a/o 19.5 overs (M Byrne 15, D Singh 15; O Newton 5-21, J Groom 2-22)
Merrion win by 125 runs