by Conor Dillon
Your correspondent was absent for the weekend’s earlier fixture at Rush and so cannot say how the side may have changed from Saturday to Monday. Without Masud Ahmed, Eoin Cleere and Rory Flanagan for the Cork fixture the subject of who should partner Joe McKay at the top of the order probably exercised Conor Kelly more than any other matter. He won the toss and opted to bat first. The batting order was: Joe McKay, Corie Dickeson, Syed Ali, Captain Conor Kelly, Jan Hendrik Steenkamp, Luke Savage, Osama Khan, Thomas Anders, Sadaf Raza, Matt Lunson, Chris Cavanagh.
With 3 and 6 from consecutive deliveries Dickeson brought his muscular approach to opening but fell without adding to this promising start. Ali took a little longer to equal Dickeson’s 9 but when Captain Kelly and McKay came together things started to motor nicely for Phoenix. A stand of 54 in 39 minutes was just what the doctor ordered although the Corkmen began to pull Phoenix back with both Kelly and McKay out for 31 to make it 93 for 4. Steenkamp was at one end but with Savage and Khan making 2 and 0 Phoenix needed an adhesive partner to complement the powerful South African. Thomas Anders’s innings of 37 from 72 balls did the job so well that David Ensor regarded it as his best ever innings although Lesley Anders seemed slightly miffed that the legal eagle was dismissive of her son’s other cricketing achievements to date. However, Ensor had a point in that the innings was one of Anders’s bigger rescue efforts since his senior 2 cup innings against YMCA in 2010 and his support helped Steenkamp to get to an impressive 55. Raza, Lunson and Cavanagh did not quite manage to bat out the overs and there was a mea culpa for the Phoenix scorer as the batting added to 210 and the bowling to 209.
Durity and Morgan added 2 as they ran a wide from Steenkamp but their opening stand ended in a run out before either had a run to his name. Morgan got to 7 before he was lbw to Steenkamp. After 5 overs from Steenkamp Conor Kelly brought himself on from the Chesterfield Avenue end and after 6 overs from Cavanagh Anders replaced the big man from the magazine fort end. After eleven dot balls Kelly had Duggan lbw for 10 and it took the teenager only 3 balls to have Ward caught for 17. Fogarty was bowled by Kellly for 0. On being told that the visitors were 60 for 5 John Doran predicted they would not reach 100 and the wickets contined to fall. Kelly was temporarily out of the limelight as Siddique fell to Raza and Bannon was run out but the skipper then dismissed Reid and Murphy with consecutive deliveries and the crowd watched attentively as Healey negotiated the hat trick ball. Healey was eventually out caught by Kelly off the bowling of Lunson as Phoenix took all 25 points.
Man of the Match: A good team effort by Phoenix but the scorer’s verdict goes to Conor Kelly – 31 runs, 4 wickets, 1 catch
Other batting efforts : J Steenkamp 55, T Anders 37, J McKay 31