The Hills are very much alive in 2019 after a remarkable 33-run victory over Malahide on Saturday maintained their 100% record in Leinster competitions.
This meeting of the Premier League’s top two lived up to the pre-match expectation as the game ebbed and flowed throughout with both sides feeling on top for long spells.
The end, when it came, was swift as Joey Carroll (3-47) and Tomas Rooney-Murphy (2-35) took four wickets in no time, Rooney-Murphy taking two in two to finish proceedings as he sent Keith Reynolds stumps spinning.
How far away that had seemed when Malahide reduced the home side to 53/5 with only opener Cormac McLoughlin-Gavin (32) able to respond to the onslaught.
What followed was a 92-run partnership between Rooney-Murphy (33) and Greg Lamb (74) for the 6th wicket. Both players counter-attacked with measured aggression sharing 14 boundaries and no maximums.
Andrew Kavanagh (31) added some late big-hitting and another 50 runs with Lamb as The Hills posted an impressive 223/9 having been in serious trouble early on.
Alan Reynolds (43) came out swinging for Malahide in their chase but it was Greg Ford (46) who top-scored for the Villagers. Ford showed good strength and bravery to come out and bat so well having landed heavily on his shoulder preventing a boundary in the first innings and leaving the field.
Despite losing wickets regularly, Malahide were up with the run rate and looked likely to chase the target down.
However, Carroll returned from taking some punishment early on to have Newland (18) caught brilliantly by Lamb at mid-off before bowling Shoebridge two balls later.
That set Rooney-Murphy up for his match-sealing heroics. With lamb having left the field, he had to bowl the first ball of his tenth over with over ten players on the field. It didn’t matter as the crucial wicket of McAlister (41) was picked up as he edged behind.
The following delivery Reynolds was bowled, and The Hills celebrations began.
A quality match between two high-class sides resulted in a 33-run for The Hills.
Pembroke beat Rush by 9 wickets, Jack Balbirnie 73*— Cricket Leinster (@cricketleinster) July 13, 2019
Merrion 246 a/o v YMCA 127/6
Phoenix 237 a/o v Leinster 96/5 (25)
All details on the match centre on https://t.co/mRn5fhkF3Y pic.twitter.com/TrkbDYAjnG
In Saturday’s other games, Merrion kept the pressure on the top two with a massive 74-run victory over YMCA. Plenty of batsmen got starts but only John Anderson (51) went on to a half-century as they posted 246 all out.
The YM response never got going as Oliver Newton (7-35) ripped through the top order, they were 19/4 at one point. Despite a middle order stand of 115 between Bobby Gamble (69) and Rory Anders (67) for the 7th-wicket, Merrion did enough to seal the win.
Pembroke bowled Rush out for 165 despite 75 from Stephen Doheny. Barry McCarthy (3-19) and JJ Garth (3-36) led the bowling for Pembroke.
In reply Jack Balbirnie (73*) and Fiachra Tucker’s (64) opening stand of 141 laid the foundation for a 9-wicket victory.
Poonish Mehta contributed 65 to Phoenix’ total of 237 all out against Leinster. The wickets were shared between the bowlers as Leinster were bowled out for 147 and fell to a 90-run defeat.
In the Championship, North County earned local bragging rights defeating Balbriggan by 75 runs. Niall McGovern hammered a century while Yassar Cook hit 98 as the men from Balrothery scored 279/5. The evergreen Ehtesham Ahmed did take 5 for 60 for Balbriggan.
Eddie Richardson (4-36) and Cook (3-39) ensured the celebrations are in Balrothery on Saturday evening.
League leaders Clontarf had an outstanding unbeaten 132 from skipper Eoghan Delany to thank for a total of 255/7 against Railway Union.
Sharifiul Islam took 3-28 to lead the Clontarf bowling as they bowled Railway out for 165 and a 90-run victory.
Kenny McDonald (4-30) and Darren Snell (3-21) restricted Cork County to 155 all out in Terenure. McDonald completed a fine all-round performance with 51 as Terenure won by 4-wickets.
LHW Financial Planning Cricket Leinster Premier League
The Hills v Malahide, Saturday July 13th, Milverton
The Hills 223/9 (G Lamb 74, T Rooney-Murphy 33; J Newland 3-49, P Chase 2-45)
Malahide 190 a/o 43.2 overs (G Ford 46, A Reynolds 43; G Lamb 3-31, T Rooney-Murphy 2-35)
The Hills win by 33 runs