This reporter took a bit of a break from the individual match reports recently. Blame work (actually I forgot the score book and couldn’t remember who did what). So here is a 3 game catch up.

Phoenix 4 v Rush 3 in Kenure. Division 10. Played on 16th June 2013

Phoenix came into this game sitting second in the table knowing that a win would see them leapfrog their opponents at the top of Division 10. Batting first, Phoenix amassed 221 off their 40 overs. The stand out performances with the bat were Matt Gregg with 69 and Naeem Shahzad with 66. Phoenix then bowled Rush out for 136. The stars with the ball were Willie Clarke with 4 for 22 (8 overs) and Captain Godwin with 4 for 44 (6.5 overs).

The win saw the 4s move top of the table for the first time this season.

The next evening saw the 4s make the trip to Corkagh Park to face Adamstown 2 in the quarter-final of the Whelan Cup.

Phoenix 4 v Adamstown 2 in Corkagh Park. Whelan Cup QF. 17th June 2013

Bowling first, the 4s got off to the perfect start with the John Anders holding onto a catch on slip off Clarke’s first ball of the innings. Clarke finished with 4 for 13 off his 4 * 8 ball overs. Godwin and Dev Dismore took 3 and 2 wickets respectively to restrict Adamstown to a below par 90. A score that 100 runs short when Naeem got to the crease. A quick fire 37 coupled with 21* from Ian Anders and 16* from Grant White saw the 4s home with over 40 balls to spare.

The reward for this win is a semi-final away to Swords 1 on July 1st.

Then came the big one. Sunday, 23rd June 2013, Civil Serice 3s made the short trip up to Phoenix for the first local derby of the season.

Phoenix 4 v Civil Service 3 in Phoenix. Division 10. 23rd June 2013

Civil Service had the honour of using the artificial pitch on a damp day in the park. Clarke and Ian Anders opened the bowling. Despite some fine tight bowling both guys were to end the day wicket-less. The change bowlers did the trick for Phoenix though (including a first wicket of the season for Raj Gopal). John Anders and Godwin chipped in as well but the day belonged to Monjur with a splendid 5 for that restricted our younger neighbours to 140. It could have been more but the returning Andrew Fox was run out first ball!

Now to the batting! 140 was never going to be enough on a super mat and a quick outfield. Surely, it wouldn’t be enough! Phoenix were progressing nicely at 75 for 2 with loads of overs in hand. Then a number of wickets fell and before anyone could catch their breath, the 4s were 8 wickets down and still needing 30 runs to win. No panic as Grant White, batting at 10 (he picked the batting line-up), strolled out to join John ‘The Finisher’ Anders (he is Golden Arm when bowling). With 9 required to win, White deposited the first 2 balls of the 33rd over for boundaries. Level scores. It was set up for White to score the winning runs. Next ball he managed to pick out the fielder at backward square leg who held onto a difficult catch. This brought Clarke to the crease. He saw out the remaining balls in the over with ease although the big back lift for a block did give the captain a moment of panic.

But they was to be no draw today. Anders hit the first ball of the next over for 4 to ensure that Godwin’s 4s remain top of the table.

A big thanks to Alan Maginnis for umpiring the game.

Next Sunday the 4s welcome Ringcommons to the park on Sunday and they travel to Swords for the Whelan Cup SF on Monday.