by Conor Dillon
Eoin Cleere was just six when Phoenix made their last appearance in the Leinster Senior cup semi final and Chris Cavanagh had not yet joined the club. However, this pair both claimed a place in this rearranged quarter final against Pembroke with Masud Ahmed and David Ford dropping out of the side. Conor Kelly won the toss and inserted the league leaders. The eleven who took the field for Phoenix were: Captain Conor Kelly, wicket keeper Syed Ali, Eoin Cleere, Joe McKay, Jan Hendrik Steenkamp, Corie Dickeson,Thomas Anders, Chris Cavanagh, Sadaf Raza, Rory Anders, Coach Matt Lunson.
Opposing skipper Theo Lawson and Robin Kelly took on the task of opening the visiting innings against Steenkamp and Cavanagh. At 30 for 0 after 8 overs Pembroke had made a respectable start but once again Captain Kelly proved to be a golden arm for his team when he bowled his namesake in his first over. Cavanagh was rested after a spell of 7-1-23-0 in favour of Thomas Anders who proceeded to bowl 4 overs for 6 runs which was paralleled by Raza bowling Russell for 16. At 76 for 2 Phoenix were still in it but Beukes was launched well past the previous Sunday’s effort by one poor over from Lunson and from then on the momentum was with Pembroke. Some of the economy rates were not too bad from the bowlers but none proved able to break the partnership. Only the rain stopped Lawson and Beukes from piling on the runs with the umpires allowing the innings to continue until both batsmen had registered a century and helped to post a total of 259 for 2. Worse still for Phoenix was that the target from 51 overs under the Duckworth Lewis system was a very challenging 294.
Could Phoenix complete the victory? Eastwood ended Cleere’s weekend when he hit the stumps in the third over. McKay got to 6 from 23 balls but was then caught by skipper Lawson off the bowling of Whaley. Ali batted from over 3 to over 23 during which time both Captain Kelly and Jan Steenkamp unfortunately came and went falling to McCarthy and Paul Lawson respectively. It was now a question of saving a little face for Phoenix with Corie Dickeson making a hard hitting 59 and Thomas Anders an adhesive 18. Rory Anders completed a good weekend for himself with the bat as he ended undefeated on 15 but apart from a boundary by Lunson the rest of the tail could do little to improve things. The innings closed on 158 meaning a defeat by 135 runs.
Men of the Match: Century makers T Lawson and J Beukes
Phoenix batting: C Dickeson 59, S Ali 28