YMCA travelled to Phoenix for the Premier League Plate final on Sunday. Having won the toss, home skipper Adam Chester invited Jack Tector’s side to bat first. Tector himself opened the batting with wicket-keeper JJ Cassidy.
For Phoenix, Theo Dempsey and Simi Singh shared the new ball. Dempsey struck in his first over pinning Cassidy LBW for a duck. This brought Harry Tector to the crease and he batted fluently, dominating a partnership of 34 until Jack Tector was adjudged LBW for 11.
Wilhelm de Klerk joined Harry Tector and the pair added a controlled 36 to the total, reaching 78/2, that was until Amish Sidhu began his spell. The left-arm spinner tore the heart out of the YMCA middle order, firstly removing de Klerk for 10, followed just a run later with a fantastic delivery to bowl Tector for 44. With the score on 95. Sidhu removed Rory Anders for 10, caught well by Benjamin Beecroft at silly-point from a leading edge.
Tim Tector and Fionn Hand set about the rebuilding job, seeing out the remainder of Sidhu’s spell, he finished with excellent figures of 3-13 from his 10 overs. The score had moved slowly to 127 when Hand deposited a Matt Lunson full toss straight down the ground, where Stephen Black charged in and took a brilliant low catch diving forward. Tector was then pinned LBW by Lunson sweeping before the score had advanced any further.
A second rebuild began between Bobby Gamble and Mitchell Thompson, in the 15 overs the pair batted together, they added 61 for the 8th wicket, bringing YMCA to 188 and what could be a competitive total. Both fell in the same Theo Dempsey over looking to add quick runs, firstly Thompson was caught at extra-cover by Black, before Gamble was stumped by McDonough. Final pair of Shukla and Streek dragged the score to 196/9 off their 50 overs.
Benjamin Beecroft and Stephen Black opened for Phoenix as they set about their target of 197, facing up to YMCA new ball pairing of Aviral Shukla and Bobby Gamble, the score had reached 9 when Black was struck in front by Shukla, and was out LBW for just 4. Bringing Simi Singh to the crease, who along with Beecroft, rebuffed a disciplined spell of bowling and advanced the score to 73. Beecroft shouldering arms to a Shukla delivery which cannoned into off-stump, dismissing him for 25.
Captain Adam Chester came to the crease, but lasted just 2 balls, trapped LBW to Rory Anders for a duck. Nicolaas Pretorious joined Singh and they immediately upped the run rate and advanced the score quickly. With the score on 168, Singh fell for a brilliantly-compiled run-a-ball 89, flicking Rory Anders to Sam Streek on the square leg boundary.
Phoenix remained in pole position to win the game, until Mitchell Thompson’s leg-breaks began to cause trouble and very nearly change the game, firstly he accounted for Pretorious, who made 52, caught by Anders. Then, Louis McDonough had made 10 before falling to a fantastic one-handed catch by Gamble at short-cover, Thompson then snared Sidhu caught behind by Cassidy for a duck, the score then 188/7.
This brought Theo Dempsey in to join James Maginnis who had watched the three wickets from the non-striker’s end. The pair dug in and nudged themselves within one hit of the win. Dempsey survived what would have been a wonder-catch at mid-on before Maginnis stroked Thompson over mid-off for 4 to win the game.
Cricket Leinster would like to thank Mike Godwin of MMI for donating the Plate Trophy which perhaps fittingly will have pride of place in his home club pavilion.
Phoenix 197/7 (Singh 89, Pretorious 52; Thompson 3/28, Anders 2/31, Shukla 2/34)
YMCA 196/9 (H Tector 44, Thompson 35, Gamble 27; Sidhu 3/13, Dempsey 3/48, Lunson 2/31)
By 3 wickets.