by Conor Dillon
Having avoided defeat in the away match against Malahide Phoenix fielded the same eleven players for the return fixture. Malahide were 3 to 5 players below full strength depending on which of their supporters was airing his view. Phoenix needed a win to keep up any promotion aspirations they were entertaining. Phoenix won the toss and batted in the following order: Joe McKay, M D Masud Ahmed, Syed Ali, Captain Conor Kelly, Jan Hendrik Steenkamp, Jonathan Wardell, Corie Dickeson, Thomas Anders, Coach Matt Lunson, Sadaf Raza, Chris Cavanagh.
McKay got off to a solid start and showed again that his durability is a good foil for the Bangladeshi’s aggression and after bowling 4 overs for almost a run a ball Cassidy was rested by his skipper. Riches had Masud stumped in his first over as Pyne produced a smart piece of work. McKay struck three boundaries as he got into his stride but his exit for 24 coupled with the failure of Ali, Kelly, Steenkamp and Wardell to develop their innings left Phoenix struggling on 85 for 6. However, the lower order and tail enders had overs in hand to make an impression and with a little patience and concentration they did so. Dickeson scored 14 singles and 2 boundaries in his 22 while Anders at the other end hit 5 boundaries in an innings of 39 from 82 balls. Coach Lunson was initially there to support Anders but he dominated the strike in his stand with the Colonel who almost outscored the coach with two late sixes before his exit. Phoenix got to 201 before the usual run out between Cavanagh and Lunson ended the innings. Glenn Kirwan ended with the best figures of the match on 4-16.
Pryor and Ellison added 28 in 26 minutes before Steenkamp had Pryor caught by McKay for 21. Riches hit a boundary but then fell lbw to Steenkamp. Alan Reynolds and Ellison took the visitors to 76 for 2 before Conor Kelly caught Ellison to give Masud another scalp. Reynolds was out to Kelly as Steenkamp took the catch but it was his younger brother who was next in and the next to go was Turner who was caught and bowled by Kelly for 11. Pyne arrived at the crease with the score on 106 for 5. The visitors still had the overs in hand to make a fight of it. Keith Reynolds and Pyne took on Steenkamp, Raza, Anders and Lunson and the score reached 169 for 5 in the 38th over. Kelly claimed his third wicket as Lunson held the catch to dismiss Reynolds for 34. Pyne defiantly struck two boundaries off Lunson but he was bowled by the coach to make it 182 for 7. The tail enders struggled to make an impression but Augustine was bowled by Steenkamp for 2 and Anders ended the match with two wickets in four balls as Kirwan was lbw for 2 and Cassidy was bowled for 0. Phoenix won by 14 runs.
Man of the Match: Thomas Anders 39 runs, 2 wickets