For ease of reading (and writing!) I have simply laid out events in date order and dropped the difference between Cricket Leinster and Club Cricket. I have continued the difference between male and female.
Also I decided to go a whole month without a ’thought’ because of the weather, a holiday and the Australian tour against the Irish Woman’s team.
One event that I hadn’t time to write about previously was the School’s Interpro between Leinster and Ulster under 19’s on 29th and 30th June. The standard was exceptionally high.
1st July LCC v. The Hills
LCC winning toss, opted to bat and amassed a very high total of 284/7. Highest scores Franks 89, Hogan 79, on the back drop of great performances by leading Hills’ bowlers Nulty 3/64 and McNichol 2/54 . The Hills opened strongly with Mcloughlin - Gavan (90) and Farooq (31) but only Rooney strengthened the middle order with 52 . Not enough and the hills went down fighting by 41.
Last year’s charismatic Cricket Leinster President, Jim Bennett had a bad day - The Hills went down. The choice in Rathmines by me for breakfast was poor and worst of all he was landed with the bill which he generously paid despite my useless protests!
8th July Phoenix v Pembroke
When I sounded out Phoenix President Alan, on a good day to visit the Park he unhesitatingly said 8th July as that would be the crunch game with Pembroke in the probable crucial promotion fixture. It was also a reception day for Phoenix Patrons, so it turned out to be a great choice as it was a beautiful day, and anyone who knows Phoenix home in the Park understands why the club claims it to be one of the most beautiful cricket grounds in Ireland. On the day Pembroke were the stronger team but Phoenix showed great hope of a recovery later on in the league . All-round the cricket was good and matched the festivity of the occasion and the hospitality provided.
9th July LCC v The Hill.(Semi Final of the I.S.C.)
It was great to see such a wonderful turnout from both home and visitors particular from who have a distance to come. I heard ‘Iinster ‘ clubman comment approvingly – you got to give it to the skerries men -like good wine they travel well !
LCC won the toss and batted with opener Hogan giving a fine start of 61 but fully matched with an unbeaten century from Bahadur. Contributions from others saw a better than expected total of 284. Great bowling from Tall 3/59 and in turn batting the Hills started very well with 50’s from McLoughlin Ghavin and Pro Lakhotia and middle order support .The bowling of Australian Pro Francis (3/32) Tonge (2/28) Ashur(2/33) wasn’t having any, and they kept the visitors to a very commendable 183 but afterthoughts feeling was that they had been set perhaps too large a total. Those lucky visitors who got the nod to the tea were not party poopers and they gave as good as they got at this traditional meal which was organised by LCC president Paul Delany (from the West Indies) . Actually it was really Denise Delaney and helpers who carried it all out. A fair division family duties Paul, lolling around in the Caribbean watching the Irish Woman playing cricket whilst Denise was up to her elbows in the mens tea room at home..
And to think the two sides had to do it all over again two weeks later (23rd July in a Leinster Senior Cup semi in the Hills .
There follows a break caused by my absences for 3 days and the presence of many wet days
23rd July saw my attendance at Claremount Rd to see LCC play YMCA. It was already drizzling when the crowds arrived (the players had already warmed up and were by now cooled!0 The weather promising increasing clearance ,got confused and instead waterfalled down on all present . The only relief in the proceedings was when a well know Irish Cricket and Rugby personality scampered across the ground measuring tape in hand –pursued by two burly prop forward types from one of the smarter Rugby clubs in Dubin 4. At about 3.30 Senior Umpire Wood – who had gallantly battled the elements, the grounds men and the players– ‘called it’. The consolation of all this was that there was only one match completed in the Leinster Leagues that day.
29th July n the Friday following the Australian trilogy I decided to stay at home (in Observatory Lane) and relax with LCC v Balbriggan.Balbriggan batted first and mustered109/1 but LCC only with Francis top score 35 went down( Bowlers Pollard and Willesen 3 each This was a big swing from the result of the previous encounter between these 2 teams
Although not quite fulfilling requirements I had made with regard to Women’s fixtures ,I felt the match on 13th July LCC v Merrion in Anglesea Rd was to good to miss. Always a competitive fixture there was additionally the possibility that the returning woman internationals would play.
Winning the toss Merrion opted to bat and Pro Inglis scored a masterful century and had support from Raack and Joyce. Bowlers from LCC were Dillon and Bagnall the latter getting her two wickets in consecutive balls .Batting was made up of Rolfe (32) and Pro Yolande (18) . Good to see Rebecca as prolific as ever and to see Yolande take an opportunity to bat. Merrion bowlers wicket takers were spread evenly through the innings but Bhaja caught the eye for very controlled delivery
Merrion ran out fairly easy winners by 84 despite the fact that LCC had one of the returned Irish team members Ava Canning appearing – but only as scorer!
As ever the woman benefited from a champion wicket and outfield provided by MCC
The next significant Woman’s event was the Australian series held over 3 days 23 25 27 July in Castle Avenue.Unfortunately 23rd was rained off but many came and stayed in Clontarf. It was like the old days at the Castle Avenues internationals – when the cricket was only part of the meeting! The Tuesday saw a good start fall away mid order allowing Australia’s facile chase The opening 3 put on an even better foundation on the Friday but it was difficult for the middle order and tail to resist the Australian attack on the eve of their return home after a gruelling campaign in the UK,
Wonderful Landmarks were Kim Garth bowling and taking one wicket. The other landmark was the retirement of Mary Waldron surely the most successful and colourful) Irish wicketkeeper/batter for many years.
I was grateful for the early finish to cricket in Clontarf on 25th which allowed me to head back to Anglesa Road where the inaugural final HBBL (100 ball business league) was awaiting presentation of the medals/cup to winners DeLoittes ,who overcame Greencore with some mighty hitting .A large enthusiastic crowd of supporters were present.
Conclusion -Men and woman
. One by product of this delay of writing from fortnightly to monthly intervals has been some gaps in my memory for which apologies .
Pat Banahan CL President (2023) 14th August 2023