A hat-trick, five wickets, player of the match and the Leinster School’s Senior Cup final wrapped up with a hundred run victory. Wednesday May 22nd was a good one for David O’Halloran of CUS.
A year and a day since his player of the match performance defeated St Andrew’s in the final, O’Halloran bowled his side to victory as they comfortably defended what at half-time had seemed a perhaps below par score.
Nathan McGuire (36) got the CUS innings off to a flyer but Blackrock College, appearing in their first final for over 50 years, are nothing if not gritty and they dug in for the fight.
Cillian McDonnell (2-27), bowling ten on the bounce, slowed the run rate and experienced campaigners Gavin Hoey (2-44) and JJ Garth (3-32) ensured wickets fell at regular intervals.
Neil Rock and O’Halloran fell cheaply, and it was left to Andrew Tonge to be the only other CUS batsman to pass 20 as they made 157/9 off their 40 overs, having been 37/0 after just six.
Nathan McGuire opened the bowling as well as the batting and looked consistently threatening as his ten overs went for just 25 runs and he snagged two wickets.
Both Blackrock openers fell to sloppy run outs trying to steal a single to square leg, before the O’Halloran show began.
His first two wickets required catches to complete the fall, however his hat-trick was all bowled. A joy to behold as line, length and pace were too much for the middle order on this day.
“You never expect to take a hat-trick in a final, so I’m delighted it happened today,” said O’Halloran after the game. “I don’t feel any extra pressure being a club player playing for the school because there’s always someone else who can step up on any day. I’ve just been lucky it’s been me the last two years.”
It fell to O’Halloran’s clubmate Zak Oliver-Woods to take the final wicket as CUS completed the victory in twenty of the forty permitted overs.
The size of the victory flattered CUS a little and was tough on a young Blackrock side. CUS have been here and done it before, Blackrock will be back on this stage before long and better for the experience, despite how hard it feels this evening.
Boys Leinster School’s Senior Cup Final
CUS Leeson Street v Blackrock College, Wednesday May 22nd, Merrion CC
CUS 157/9 40 overs (N McGuire 36, A Tonge 25; JJ Garth 3-32, C McDonnell 2-27, G Hoey 2-44)
Blackrock College 52 a/o 20/40 overs (JJ Garth 12; D O’Halloran 5-13, N McGuire 2-25, Z Oliver-Woods 1-10)
CUS won by 105 runs