Round 1 of the Sprint Coatings Leinster Senior Cup got underway tonight and saw a dominant display from reigning (2019) champions Leinster CC in the Phoenix Park which served as a baptism of fire for the home side, playing in Senior cricket for the first time in 29 years.
Phoenix captain Ali Keenan won the toss and had no hesitation in electing to bowl first. Leinster absolutely flew out of the blocks, Ellen Ridgeway and Sophie MacMahon shared a partnership of 72 for the first wicket before the former was out, caught behind by Lucy McDonough off the bowling of Alison Black.
MacMahon continued with abandon, taking on Sarah White’s leg-spin and hitting several boundaries through and over cover with particular style. Laura Delany meanwhile had joined her and was powering the ball to the rope, being particularly profitable on the pull shot.
With the score on 132, MacMahon was bowled by an excellent yorker by Sophie McDonough, finishing on 64 from just 39 balls, including 8 boundaries and two huge straight 6s. This brought Jenny Sparrow to the crease for the most fruitful partnership of the innings, putting on 78 with her captain for the third wicket.
Sparrow finished up with 33 off 23 balls including two maximums, while Delany carried her bat through the remainder of the innings for 66 from 45 balls with 9 boundaries, bringing her side to 212/3 in their 20 overs, the second highest 20 over score in women’s senior cricket.
Phoenix’s reply got off to the worst possible start with Nevedha Saravanarajan being run out in the first over for just one. This brought Lara Maritz to the crease to join Georgina Dempsey, the pair of which put on 49 for the second wicket before Dempsey was run out in a very tight, contentious call in the 8th over for 21.
This brought Ella Pasley to the crease, and she was the first of two batters to play second fiddle to the dominant Maritz who continued to strike the ball to the boundary almost at will. Partnerships of 21 with Pasley and 33 with Ashlee King saw Phoenix to 108/4, but after this they were running out of both time and partners for Maritz at the same time.
Maritz brought up her 50 with a nicely pulled 4 to the rope and maintained her level headed approach to her innings throughout to the end of the 20th over, when she had amassed 78 not out from 66 balls to see her side to 137/6.
While the result didn’t go in their favour, it was a more than satisfactory return to the senior ranks for the ‘Nix who will win games with inferior performances at some stage during the remainder of the season.
Meanwhile in Malahide, the home side batted first against Merrion, but could only manage to muster 78 as there were wickets for Sadbh Breslin who’s 3/23 was the pick of the bowling, while Celeste Raack and Niamh McNulty took two apiece for the price of just 16 and 18 runs respectively.
A strong batting effort from internationals Rebecca Stokell who made 27 before being dismissed bowled by Aisling McCormack and Leah Paul who was unbeaten on 41 saw the visiting Merrion side make relatively light work of the chase, as they were home for the loss of just one wicket, with 12 overs to spare.
Last but not least, the closest game of the evening was played out between The Hills and Clontarf in Milverton. Batting first Clontarf made 108/2 in their 20 overs, Christina Coulter-Reilly made 43, well supported by 34* from Anna Marshall. Katie Boylan was the only bowler to take a wicket for The Hills, dismissing Aoife Brennan early on for just 10, with Coulter-Reilly falling courtesy of an Aisling Byrne run out.
In reply Jane Maguire was the mainstay of The Hills chase as she made 32 before being bowled by Charlotte McCabe. A brace of run outs to dismiss Jessica Butler and Miranda Andrews were accompanied by a couple of wickets for captain Emma Butler, who finished with excellent figures of 2/8. This was enough for Clontarf to pile on the pressure as the innings drew to an end, and allowed them to ultimately run out 9 run victors in a hard fought encounter.
Sprint Coatings Women’s Senior Cup Round 1
In Phoenix Park
Leinster – 212/3 (L Delany 66*, S MacMahon 64, J Sparrow 33; S McDonough 1/16)
Phoenix – 137/6 (L Maritz 78*, G Dempsey 21; K Dillon 1/14)
by 75 runs
Malahide - 78 all out (S Brophy 17; S Breslin 3/23, C Raack 2/16, N McNulty 2/18)
Merrion – 82/1 (L Paul 41*, R Stokell 27; A McCormack 1/12)
by 9 wickets
Clontarf – 108/2 (C Coulter-Reilly 42, A Marshall 34*; K Boylan 1/28)
The Hills – 99/5 (J Maguire 32, E Butler 2/8, C McCabe 1/10)
by 9 runs