by Conor Dillon
After the defeat to Pembroke the previous Sunday Phoenix were badly in need of a victory against bottom side Leinster to maintain the possibility of avoiding relegation. Conor Kelly was at a wedding and Corie Dickeson deputised as skipper. Branem Adams was called into the side for his first team debut bringing the number of South Africans in the team to three. Dickeson won the toss and inserted the visitors. The eleven who took the field for Phoenix were Captain Corie Dickeson, wicket keeper Syed Ali, M D Masud Ahmed, Riaan Jeggels, Duminsany Magala, Thomas Anders, Andrew Leonard, Rory Anders, Sadaf Raza, Steve Davis, Branem Adams.
It was a day punctuated by showers and two rain interruptions in the Leinster innings brought about the involvement of Duckworth Lewis and a reduction to 43 overs per side. On the pitch Mallon and McDonnell set about building a good foundation to the innings against the bowling initially of Rory Anders and Magala. However, it took a change of bowlers to bring wickets for Phoenix with Adams breaking the partnership when he bowled McDonnell for 29. Mallon did not last much longer before being caught by Ali bowled Davis but his 58 looked impressive as he had been hampered probably by hamstring problems for some time and Peter O’Donnell was called in as substitute fielder for the Phoenix innings. Moreton was caught Jeggels bowled Leonard for 14 and O’Dwyer and Johnston with 0 and 1 did not cause too many problems but a fine innings by Adam Ward of 44 from 41 balls put the pressure back on Phoenix and there was support for Ward from Carroll with 17 and Jones who made 19 before both fell to Raza. Richard Forrest made an assured 26 not out and with Rob Kenealy surviving on 8 the innings closed on 242 for 9. Raza was the leading wicket taker for Phoenix with 3 while Davis, Adams and Leonard all took 2.
Rain early in the Phoenix innings took another 3 overs and the target was reduced to 238. Masud made a positive start while Ali concentrated on being adhesive and the stand added 41 before Masud was bowled by Carroll for 34. Jeggels was also in positive form and he made a useful 38 before being caught by Kenealy to give Carroll a second victim. Ali and Magala took Phoenix to 139 for 2 before Ali was lbw to the flight of Moreton for 46. The number of runs required to win began to put pressure on Phoenix but with more rain possibly in the air Phoenix could stay ahead on Duckworth Lewis with wickets in hand. Dickeson was next in and Magala was next out for 18 with the total on 171. Dickeson and Thomas Anders stayed calm and struck a few lusty blows but the Phoenix challenge began to derail when Dickeson was out for 34. All bar Raza got off the mark but no one was able to make that vital contribution that would help to defeat the champions. Phoenix lost by 10 runs on the Duckworth Lewis system.
Man of the Match C Mallon 58 runs
Phoenix performer S Ali 46 runs