by Conor Dillon
With the Irish Senior Cup now behind Phoenix for another year Captain Ford was able to give a second first eleven appearance to Jeff Dudgeon in the hope that the Aussie might help to solve the problem that the top and middle order were not getting enough runs. Sayed Shah, Alam Morshed and Sim Singh dropped out of the side after the North Down match with Thomas Anders and Jonathan Wardell coming back in. Captain Ford won the toss and inserted Leinster. The eleven who took the field for Phoenix were Captain David Ford, Coach Emmanuel Peterson, Coach Richie Lawrence, Jeff Dudgeon, Rory Anders, M D Masud Ahmed, Thomas Anders, Eoin Cleere, wicket keeper Jonathan Wardell, Kaleem Sheikh, Ben White.
Rory Anders was given first use of the new ball with his elder brother bowling from the far end. Richie Forrest and Hugh McDonnell looked reasonably comfortable early on but after a stand of 43 runs in 43 minutes McDonnell was caught by Peterson with Rory getting the wicket. Soon Phoenix were relying on spin at both ends with Ben White and Masud Ahmed bowling in tandem. Leinster got into a lot of difficulty with this pair as White removed Richie Forrest for 34 and Masud bowled Ward for 23, Johnston for 1, had Delany caught by Dudgeon and Danny caught by Cleere with neither getting off the mark. J.P. had reached 10 when a good piece of outfielding by Phoenix ended with Peterson throwing down the stumps to run him out. Jack Kerrison had an adhesive innings of 21 at Number 8 before being caught by Wardell off Peterson and the same combination saw off O’Gorman for 1. Thomas Anders returned to the bowling attack and wrapped up the innings at 126 with Bilal caught by Cleere.
Jeff Dudgeon and Rory Anders opened the innings for Phoenix and the Aussie got to 10 before Anders was lbw Azhar for 0. Dudgeon got to 18 before Lawrence went in the same fashion as Anders. Peterson was able to give the opener more solid support but at 61 for 3 Phoenix were still less than halfway home when Dudgeon was caught Ward bowled Delany for 40. Peterson battled on to finish on 19 while Thomas Anders would usually expect to score more than 6 but there were 6 Leinster players who did not exceed 1 and in a low scoring game every run counts. A patient partnership between Eoin Cleere and Captain Ford brought the game safely to a conclusion for Phoenix who won by 4 wickets.
Man of the Match: Masud Ahmed 4-19; 25 runs
Runner up: Jeff Dudgeon 40 runs