The 2021 Marchant Cup will be the first time the trophy will have a new winner inscribed on it since 2016, when Eddie Richardson won the award. As Pembroke’s Theo Lawson becomes his club’s first non-professional winner of the trophy since 1976, and first winner overall since 1995.
Lawson’s total of 521 runs at very strong average of 74.43 was an excellent effort in a season where his side needed someone to help atone for the loss of their regular international players. He managed to stay well clear of John Anderson who finished in second place, averaging 51.17 and putting up a fine show in his effort to claim the gong for the fourth season on the bounce.
The strength of Lawson’s effort with the bat is clear for all to see when analysed in line with other winners of the Marchant Cup in the past number of years, with his average being enough to win the award in 8 of the last 10 seasons, only Anderson’s effort of 84.78 in 2018, and Railway Union’s Pat Collins’ 79.4 in 2013 have seen higher winning averages for the trophy.
Stephen Doheny was the only other player to average over 40, with his 345 runs coming at 43.13 in just 9 innings in what was a strong debut season for him at Merrion. Rounding out the top 5 in the list were Mitchell Thompson who’s season included his first and second Senior centuries in making 359 runs at 39.89, whilst the ever consistent Eoghan Delany made four half-centuries in his 388 runs at 38.8.
Nobody, however, could lay a glove on Lawson, his form this season franked by the fact that he was dismissed just 7 times in 13 innings. He saved his best form for the latter end of the season, as with Pembroke desperately needing victories to secure their slot in the Premier League Final, he produced an excellent couple of performances as in the space of three days he sunk eventual champions Merrion with an unbeaten 83, before another unbeaten 70 saw his side to victory in the refix against YMCA, both knocks turned out to be match-winning making them even more valuable.
Lawson’s form ultimately saw him rewarded with a call-up into the Leinster Lightning squad for the final weekend of the IP20 competition, and although the weather restricted him to just one appearance, it is an obvious encouragement to all club players that consistent performances still open the door to representative honours.
Congratulations to Theo from all at Cricket Leinster on being crowned the winner of the Marchant Cup for 2021!