by Conor Dillon
Phoenix got a temporary respite from their battle to avoid relegation with their appearance in the Leinster senior cup quarter final at Malahide. Amit Battan would deputise for Jonathan Wardell behind the stumps and this time Eoin Cleere was passed over. Philip Caldwell made a vital 7 not out with Paddy Conliffe at the other end against Waringstown in 2006 and your correspondent believes that was his most recent appearance in the first eleven after rugby and a long spell in Australia meant he was unavailable for Phoenix. It was a day for batting first if the coin dropped in your favour but Captain Ford lost the toss and Malahide elected to bat. The eleven who took the field for Phoenix were Captain David Ford, Coach Richie Lawrence, Coach Emmanuel Peterson, Jeffrey Dudgeon, Rory Anders, M D Masud Ahmed, Thomas Anders, Amit Battan, Kaleem Sheikh, Ben White, Philip Caldwell.
Reinhardt Strydom and Fintan McAllister faced up to Phoenix’s latest new ball pairing of Rory Anders and Richie Lawrence and after a settling in period the two batsmen began to see the ball well and tried to attack whenever they could. After 5 overs each the opening bowlers were rested as they each had 7 left with Thomas Anders given a spell of 4 overs while Captain Ford was harsher on Emmanuel Peterson who he withdrew from the bowling attack after 3 overs cost 28 runs. Ben White returned to the scene of his 5-13 spell of last year but this time he went for a run a ball and emerged wicketless. Strydom and McAllister put on an impressive stand of 162 for the first wicket but Phoenix struck back in the lead up to lunch with Masud Ahmed bowling McAllister for 57 and Strydom missing out on a century with Thomas Anders defeating his defences when he was on 94. It was Thomas Anders who was the most successful bowler on the day and he ended on 5-49 taking out Callum Riches lbw for 1 , Alan Reynolds bowled for 34, Morris bowled for 1 andGuerin lbw for 1. Rory Anders had Govan caught by Battan and Masud took a second wicket when he had George Deans caught by Captain Ford for 29. Number 4 David Arnold ended undefeated on 40 and Shoebridge was also undefeated on 2 with Peter Saville not required to bat. Phoenix conceded 30 extras and would need 305 to win.
After his 40 at Leinster Jeff Dudgeon opened the innings with Rory Anders. The Aussie hit four scoring shots but then mistimed a Riches delivery and was caught for 11. Anders had reached 7 when he was run out backing up and then Lawrence and Peterson were at the crease together. There followed a period of stability for Phoenix as a stand of 40 meant the visitors were still competing. Peterson was out for 26 but Masud Ahmed was in good touch and with Lawrence also carrying the fight to the home team Phoenix were down but not yet out. Unfortunately Masud was out on 48 and the rest of the middle order and the tail enders were unable to give Lawrence the extent of the support he needed. Thomas Anders made 1, Captain Ford made 7, Battan made 5, Sheikh made 12, Lawrence was second last out on 82 and Philip Caldwell will contribute more the more he plays.