This week’s match report starts on Saturday 30th August in North Kildare. Graham Morris’s Band of Merry Men beat their hosts to set up a winner-takes-all league decider against Knockharley in the park on Saturday 6th September 2014 (yes the same day as the Awards Night so come down early, supports the 3s and get into the swing of things for the evening ahead).
The next day, the 4s faced Terenure knowing they needed to win to keep the pressure on North County who were facing Greystones in Inch at the same time.
Captain Anders lost the toss and on a beautiful sunny Sunday afternoon, Phoenix were asked to bat first. This caused a modicum of unease in the home dressing room as Raj was running late, so another new opening partnership was needed. This time Murali Millar and President Brown marched to the middle. We started a few minutes before official 12.30 start time which upset Ms Caird who timed your arrival perfectly at 12.27. The book was in safe hands until the multi-coloured pens were readied.
Brown went early with Adam Bampfield joining Millar at the crease. Both were cautious at times but they punished the bad balls to make sure the score board ticked over. Their partnership of 111 was ended when Millar holed on 47. Raj joined Adam and they continued to bat passed the drinks break. A brief loss of concentration and a poor shot saw Bampfield caught at point while 49.
Young Maher’s stay was brief with Dismore joining Raj. Raj got to 32 before a fine catch at deep mid-wicket ended his innings. Mick McDonagh was undone by a ball that stayed low. Captain Anders joined Dismore at the crease. Dismore was looking good on 17 before he was run out.
Grant White (19*) and John (22*) continued to run scoring all the way to the end of the 45th over. With the addition of 39 extras, Phoenix posted a very competitive 229 off their 45 overs.
After another few tea provided by Kate, the 4s took to the field. Clarke and Dismore opened and for the second week in a row, it was Dismore who made the early breakthrough. The man supplying the stunning one-handed catch this week was Raj Gopal. The Terenure batsman dug in deep and set about trying to build a partnership. However, after facing 16 dot balls in a row, the number 3 lost his patience and Dismore picked up his second wicket.
Monjur replaced Dismore and Maher replaced Clarke. Monjur was usually self, finishing with 2 for 30 off his 9 overs. Maher was a little wayward and was replaced by Anders. Golden Arm was back to his best finishing with 3 for 20 off 7 overs, including a caught & bowled that ended a run of 4 dropped caught & bowled chances at the other end.
Millar replaced Monjur and continued to apply the pressure. Millar picked up the 8th and 10th wickets to fall. Maher came back to replace Anders was rewarded when Millar hold onto a skier.
Another fine team performance and 3 bonus points in the bag as well.
On Monday, the news came through that Greystones had beaten North County by 5 wickets. This opens the door for the 4s who have one game left on the 13th against Greystones. In the meantime, North County have a local derby against Ringcommons this Sunday. A win for Ringcommons would be very welcome in the park.
Team was: John Anders (c), Grant White (wk), Gordon Millar, Michael Brown, Adam Bampfield, Raj Gopal, Peter Maher, Devon Dismore, Mick McDonough, Monjur Ahmad, Willie Clarke.
The 4s play their last game of the season against Greystones on Saturday 13th September (the Wine and Cheese Night is on). So why not come on down to the park, support the 4s and then enjoy the Sommelier and his wines.