by Conor Dillon
Having ended their losing run with a thrilling reply to 333 in the Senior 2 cup David Ford and his men must have been a little frustrated to lose their next two home games to the weather. This first away league fixture took them to Kilcock to face a North Kildare side who had their own problems with availability of key players. The home team won the toss and opted to bat first. Phoenix took to the field without cup centurion Vish Vaidyanathan who had not received the news about the 12.00 start time. The ten men were Captain David Ford, former skipper Chris Cavanagh, former skipper Stephen Neill, wicket keeper Jonty Wardell, Matt Gregg (now a decade on from his 197 for the 3rd xi), former skipper Jason McNelis ( now a decade on from his 100 for the 3rd xi in the same match), Aaron Joseph, Thomas Anders, Rory Anders, Deepak Kumar.
Chris Cavanagh and Thomas Anders shared the new ball and facing them initially were Rob Neavyn and the normally adhesive Ian Walshe. Cavanagh made the first inroad for Phoenix when he had Neavyn chip a shot to McNelis. Anders was guilty of giving away a few wides but his economy rate overall of 2.0 runs an over was impressive. Singh managed a few scoring shots but fell lbw to Rory Anders who was now bowling with Neill at the far end. Given Neill’s history an analysis of 6-3-22-0 was a solid contribution to the Phoenix effort. McNelis bowled 3 overs for 6 runs and then Captain Ford brought himself into the attack from the pavilion end in an effort to break the hitherto productive stand between Ul Haq and Walshe. The veteran nicked one behind and was caught by Wardell. Singh, Vorster and O’Neill followed in successive overs as the Phoenix skipper proved a golden arm to his team. Vaidyanathan made up for his earlier absence by getting two catches. The first gave Ford a 5 wicket haul and the second gave Cavanagh a second wicket as Nair hit out.
McNelis and Wardell got the catches for Ford’s two other victims and the Phoenix outfielding was good enough to bring about two run outs as the innings closed in the 43rd over on 153.
Captain Ford and Thomas Anders got the Phoenix reply off to a solid start against the bowling of Ali and Nair. The 50 partnership came up after 11.3 overs but to paraphrase Luke Kelly a sad misfortune came over the skipper when he lost his footing backing up too far and was run out by a good throw. Anders continued with his patient mixture of attack and defence as Vaidyanathan’s quickfire 12 helped take the score to 80. McNelis could have been out first ball but made a useful 5 out of 22 before an overambitious attempt to run two saw him removed – whether he called the run or Anders called it is unknown. Anders and Wardell were content to bat the overs and continue the steady accumulation of runs until confusion between the umpires and the scorers saw Anders dismissed on 69 when the match may have been already won. A wide with Neill on strike settled the issue as Wardell ended undefeated on 28.
Man of the Match: A good team effort by Phoenix with Ford taking 5 wickets and Thomas Anders getting 69 runs