In the NEARfm Alan Murray Group C match tonight, North County 2nds kept open the slimmest of cracks in their efforts to make finals day later in August - and also handed North County 1sts a lifeline.
In soggy north County Dublin, North County took an early lead in the bowl-out, as Terry Richardson hit the stumps with the Balrothery side's third delivery. Vipal Garcya also aimed well with the next ball, and then a succesion of misses until Nadim Achtar struck to make it 2-1 to the Hills.
The vagaries of the competition rules meant that if North County 2 lost the match, at the very best (for North County) the league would be tied between Pembroke and North County 1. As the Foxes had already won the head to head, it would have been both North County sides who would have been knocked out.
So with three North County bowlers still to go, one of them had to hit - Niall McLoughlin it was who took the bowl-out into extra time.
Then after Terry Richardson hit with North County's second delivery, it was all over, and both North County sides live to fight another day.
The equation in the last group C game is crucial. If Pembroke beat North County 2nds, they qualify for finals day. If North County 2nds beat Pembroke by most margins, then North County 1sts will qualify. And should North County 2nds win by the small matter of something like 210 runs, then they will qualify instead of their big brother.
Pembroke host North County 2nds in that all important encounter next Tuesday 26th July in Sydney Parade. Finals Day of the 2011 NEAR 90fm Alan Murray Cup is in North County, Balrothery on Saunday 14th August.
The draw for Finals Day can be heard this Saturday during NEAR 90fm's coverage of the LHW Senior Cup, between North County and Merrion