After yesterday’s round of fixtures, we now have a much clearer view on the make-up of the semi-finals for this season’s edition of the SportsHub Senior League Cup.
In Group A yesterday, Clontarf’s 139 run victory over Rush secured them their spot in the semi-finals, they now have a 20 point cushion over Merrion who are in second spot following on from their 8 wicket victory over Leinster, with YMCA now the only side who could take the spot from Merrion, their 10 wicket victory over North Kildare bringing them within 10 points of the Anglesea Road side.
In Group B, Pembroke’s 6 run victory over Railway Union, coupled with Phoenix’s final ball win in North County, means the Sydney Parade side are through and top the group, whilst the 5 bonus points Railway Union have picked up means they can still mathematically qualify, just. The Hills’ victory over Dublin University has put them level on points with North County, with those two sides now having the best chances of qualification for the semi-final.
What all of that means is that the equation in Group A remains simple, a Merrion victory in Cork County will see them qualify, whilst if Clontarf fail to win it will come down to bonus points to decide who tops the group. If Merrion fail to win, and YMCA win, the Claremont Road side will finish 2nd to Clontarf in the group.
Group B holds many, many more permutations, starting with the simplest however, if both North County and The Hills win, whoever gains more bonus points in their victory will finish 2nd. If Railway Union beat North County, with at least 4 bonus points, they will be relying on wins for Terenure (with at least 2 bonus points), Pembroke and Malahide to see them qualify. If Phoenix win, they will be hoping for wins from Terenure, Railway Union and Malahide to see them qualify. If Dublin University win, they will be hoping for wins from Terenure, Railway Union and Pembroke to see them qualify. Ultimately, one from the 5 teams currently occupying 2nd to 6th positions in the table will finish next Saturday in 2nd place.
Yesterday’s results again saw some good individual performances in victories for their respective sides. Starting with Group A, where David Delany’s 86* was the backbone of Clontarf’s 222/7 as they poured on a huge 139 run victory over Rush. Dylan Lues’ 4/20 saw Balbriggan bowl Cork County out for 111, before Connor Fletcher’s unbeaten 58 helped their side to a 7 wicket win. In Claremont Road, YMCA beat North Kildare by 10 wickets, thanks primarily to Padraic Flanagan’s 6/20, which saw the away side bowled out for 93, before unbeaten scores of 35 and 45 for Jack Tector and Mitchell Thompson respectively saw YM cruise to victory within 18 overs. Finally, three wickets apiece for Tom Stanton and Niranjan Shankar saw Merrion bowl Leinster out for 145, before a partnership between Sean Stanton (41) and Shankar who finished unbeaten on 53 saw the away side to an 8 wicket win, with almost 19 overs to spare.
In Group B, an excellent rearguard action from Tómas Rooney-Murphy (50) and Athar Farooqi (43*) dragged The Hills back from 68/7 to make a reasonable score of 184/9 in their 50 overs. Nicolaas Pretorius made 52 in the response for Dublin University, however wickets fell regularly and the next best score was just 18, seeing them fall 5 runs short of the DLS target when they were all out for 159. In North County, Malcolm Nofal’s 91 saw the home side make 208 all out, with three wickets for each of Ben White and George Dockrell. In the chase, Stephen Black’s 62 gave Phoenix a great start, and at 196/5, they looked all but home, however a flurry of run outs saw the game come down to the final ball, where Sam Morris once again managed to get his team over the line with a one wicket victory. Pembroke came out on top in Railway Union by 6 runs, batting first the away side made 179, thanks mainly to 42 from Poonish Mehta, supported by 30s from Greg Holins and Lorcan Tucker. Railway were always slightly behind in the game, however a partnership between Fakhar Zaman and Hamza Maan gave them hope, but three wickets from Donncha Tucker, to go with earlier efforts of 3/22 from Mehta and 4/53 from Piyush Sharma saw Railway fall to 173 all out. Finally in Terenure, Malahide made 198 all out thanks to 79 from Fintan McAllister and 51 from Ryan Hackney, Terenure openers Hilal Asad (4/34) and Séamus Lynch (3/32) doing the majority of the damage. Three wickets for James Newland and two for Mike Frost saw Terenure reduced to 48/6, before a rearguard action from Colm Morgan (39) and Zubair Khan (24) got them to 159 all out in the 44th over.
SPORTSHUB SENIOR LEAGUE CUP
SUNDAY 22ND MAY
Balbriggan 115/3, 25.4 overs (C Fletcher 58*; R Pollard 2/32)
Cork County 111/10, 33.3 overs (R Pollard 37; D Lues 4/20, A Darroch 3/27)
by 7 wickets
At Observatory Lane
Merrion 146/2, 31.1 overs (N Shankar 53*, S Stanton 41)
Leinster 145/10, 41.2 overs (B Mitchell 56; T Stanton 3/11, N Shankar 3/29)
by 8 wickets
At Claremont Road
YMCA 95/0, 17.1 overs (M Thompson 45*, J Tector 35*)
North Kildare 93/10, 37.1 overs (Y Sherzad 34; P Flanagan 6/20, M Thompson 2/16)
by 10 wickets
At Castle Avenue
Clontarf 222/7, 50 overs (D Delany 86*, E Delany 51; A Eastwood 3/29, A Neary 2/48)
Rush 83/10, 24.4 overs (M Granger 3/14, F Hand 3/20)
by 139 runs
At Park Avenue
Pembroke 179/10, 41.2 overs (P Mehta 42, G Holins 34, L Tucker 31; A Mathew 3/27, H Maan 3/28, L McCarthy 3/40)
Railway Union 173/10, 49.1 overs (L McCarthy 32; P Sharma 4/53, P Mehta 3/22, D Tucker 3/44)
by 6 runs
Phoenix 209/9, 50 overs (S Black 62, W Bennett 34; J Mooney 3/26)
North County 208/10, 47 overs (M Nofal 91, J Grassi 42; G Dockrell 3/29, B White 3/47)
by 1 wicket
At The Vineyard
The Hills 184/9, 50 overs (T Rooney-Murphy 50, A Farooqi 42*; M O’Reilly 3/40, N Jones 2/16, T Dempsey 2/46)
Dublin University 159/10, 40.4 overs (N Pretorius 52; D Blignaut 4/34, L Shields 2/10, T Rooney-Murphy 2/30)
by 5 runs (DLS)
Malahide 198/10, 47.4 overs (F McAllister 79, R Hackney 51; H Asad 4/34, S Lynch 3/32)
Terenure 159/10, 43.5 overs (C Morgan 39; J Newland 3/19, R Kumar 2/27, M Frost 2/38)
by 39 runs