The Sprint Coatings Senior Cup for 2022 gets underway this evening with the 8 Division One sides facing off in the quarter final stages of the competition.
Unfortunately, it has come to our attention at a very late stage that club selections for this evening's Women's Senior Cup will be severely hampered by a late decision in respect of those players selected in the Ireland squad - we have been told that these players are now required to attend a training session rather than play in the CL Senior Cup for their club this evening. This is part of the Ireland squad's preparations for the Tri Series (which starts in 11 days time). This is most unfortunate and we regret the impact this will have on the clubs involved and all feedback is being collated to share with those involved in scheduling decisions.
PEMBROKE VS THE HILLS
Pembroke are able to call upon a string of players who are currently the backbone of their Division 3-leading second team to account for the loss of their international stars. Their side will also feature former Irish internationals Clare Shillington and Louise McCarthy, both of whom will put their experience to good use with bat and ball respectively to help guide their younger, less experienced players through this game. With Mhairi Nicoll and Anna Beale also both in the side their bowling attack is set to be relatively unscathed, but the test will be for their batters to put together an innings their bowlers can put to good use.
With just Jane Maguire missing for The Hills, they are one of the lesser affected sides in the circumstances as well, however Maguire’s impact on the team with the bat, ball and as captain cannot be underestimated and it heaps pressure onto overseas player Robyn Searle to produce a starring performance. Naomi Matthews was in the runs last week and her return in recent weeks could prove to be a major boost, whilst with the ball Rebecca Gough and Katie Boylan will be backing up stand-in captain Aisling Byrne to try restrict Pembroke’s line-up.
KEY BATTLE: Louise McCarthy vs Robyn Searle
MERRION VS LEINSTER
Merrion are without Rebecca Stokell, Leah Paul and Rachel Delaney from their usual side. Taking the top three from any side would handicap them severely, however with the form this three have shown so far this season, along with the spin bowling of Paul and Delaney coming out of the side, it really does change the picture for this game. Captain Celeste Raack is available and will shoulder significant bowling burden along with Julianne Morrissey, whilst young seamers Niamh MacNulty and Síbha Bhoja will get the chance to again bring their side into the game.
Whilst Leinster haven’t always been at full strength this season, they are still hurt by the unavailability of Ava Canning, Laura Delany and Sophie MacMahon, all three are all-rounders who have game changing capability. Ellen Ridgeway and Jenny Sparrow will be the batters who Leinster look at to lead the way, whilst only Sparrow, Sophia Nulty and Joanna Loughran have regularly bowled in the side this season meaning there’s plenty to make up for by the rest of the side in the absence of their main bowling line-up.
KEY BATTLE: Niamh MacNulty vs Ellen Ridgeway
CLONTARF VS MALAHIDE
At Castle Avenue, Clontarf are one of just two sides unaffected by the absence of international players, and will be hoping to avenge a thumping defeat at the hands of Malahide in last week’s fixtures. Bhavi Devchand will be key to this effort with both bat and ball, as will Christina Coulter-Reilly who’s bowling gave ‘Tarf a platform for some good victories before the mid-season break. Freya Sargent and Anna Kirk round out a good bowling attack alongside skipper Emma Butler, whilst with the bat Alice Walsh has been impressing with her boundary hitting ability this season.
Malahide are without Amy Hunter and Arlene Kelly for tonight’s fixture, meaning Gemma Devally will take the gloves for the away side. The absence of Kelly hurts their seam-bowling armoury, however Hunter’s ability with the bat is also a massive loss and one which her usual opening partner Caoimhe McCann will be under pressure to help alleviate. Anna and Maria Kerrison in the middle order are two players who will look to provide runs to help with the cause however that pair’s bowling is probably their more valuable asset. Sarah Condron has bowled well in recent weeks and will look to keep that form with the new ball in the absence of Kelly.
KEY BATTLE: Freya Sargent vs Caoimhe McCann
PHOENIX VS YMCA
Phoenix are the only other side unaffected by Irish training duties this evening, they will be looking to skipper Nevedha Saravanarajan, Alison Black and the McDonough sisters, Lucy and Sophie, with the bat to help them put pressure on their opposition tonight. Whilst with the ball, Ali Keenan, Sophie McDonough and Saravanarajan will be the three who look to take advantage of YMCA being below their full strength this evening.
YMCA’s excellent start to the season has coincided with Gaby Lewis’ terrific run of form, with her centuries the last two weeks being the two highest scores ever made in Women’s T20 cricket in Leinster. Without her they are looking to Sarah Forbes, Sophie Strickland, Jennifer Gray and Siuin Woods to provide their runs, whilst with the ball, Alice Tector will be taking a lead role in the attack in Georgina Dempsey’s absence, with Vanshika Shukla and Kate McEvoy the other seamers carrying much of the bowling burden in this fixture.
KEY BATTLE: Alice Tector vs Nevedha Saravanarajan