Malahide 4 v Phoenix 4 – 15/5/2016

With the sun shining, the 4s made the trip to the back pitch in Malahide to take on their 4th XI.  Captain Anders won the toss and elected to field first.

Clarke and Ijaz took the new ball.  Malahide got off to a fast start as both bowlers struggled to maintain their line and length.  Clarke made the breakthrough with young Marc Brazil taking the catch behind the stumps.  Clarke followed up with another wicket.  Then Ijaz joined the wicket party when he uprooted the middle stump of the Malahide number 4.

A partnership of 29 was ended when Monjur bowled the remaining opening batsman.  At 71/4, the game was evenly poised.  Unfortunately, Malahide would add another 94 runs before the next wicket fell.  From 165/4, Malahide were bowled out for 189 in 43.5 overs.  The wickets were shared out with Clarke taking 4, Monjur taking 3, Anders taking 2 and 1 for Ijaz.  Conor Hillman bowled well without any luck.  James Maginnis also bowled well without getting the wicket his bowling deserved.  (During a post-match pint, the Malahide batsmen mentioned to yours truly that they were quite impressed with James’s pace).

The Phoenix innings got off to a poor start. Raj holed out in the first over and Lineesh was bowled in the second over with the runs now matching the wickets at 2.  Brazil and Godwin set about rebuilding the innings.  They both showed great patience and put a high price on their wicket.

With the score on 26, Godwin was given out LBW.  Godwin and most of the other people in the grounds of Malahide Castle didn’t need DRS to know that the LBW decision may not have been correct.  This was a turning point in the game as the change bowlers from Malahide were no way near as consistent as their opening pair.

Evan Chester and Marc Brazil fell soon afterwards to leave Phoenix in trouble at 36 for 5.  Ijaz (35) and Conor (26) then put on 72 to get Phoenix back in the game.  Some strong running and ‘inventive’ strokes were on show from both.  However, the lower order could only each manage single figure scores to see the innings end on 123.  A 66-run defeat.

A failure to break the 5th wicket partnership of Malahide was a big contributor to the loss.  On a number of occasions, Hillman was only a coat of varnish away from sending the stumps flying.  A poor start to the chase also hampered the chances of winning especially when the change bowlers came on.  A lot work needs to be done to ensure the 4th XI are contesting for league and cup honours come September.

Team:  John Anders (c), Marc Brazil (wk), Raj Gopal, Lineesh Ramachandran, Michael Godwin, Evan Chester, Conor Hillman, Ijaz Ahmed, James Maginnis, Monjur Ahmad, Willie Clarke.

Thanks to Conor Dillon for scoring and Michelle Maginnis, our water supplier.

Willie Clarke

Phoenix 4th XI v Carlow 1 – 2/5/2016

Something old, something new, something borrowed, something blue!

With Carlow having to play all their matches away from home (something borrowed), the 4th XI had the unusual experience of being the ‘away’ team in the park last Sunday.  Not wanting to get too much into this away thing, they used the home dressing rooms.

The team saw a player make his debut for the club, Conor Hillman (something new!) and one player make his debut on the 4s, Ijaz Ahmed.

Having spent the 2015 season enjoying his first year of wedded bliss, Monjur Ahmad (something old), made his return to the 4s.

Captain Anders lost the toss and was asked to field first.  As usual, Willie Clarke, opened from the Chesterfield Avenue end with Conor Hillman coming from the Magazine Fort end.  Carlow got off to a flyer with the big-hitting Rocky Butt causing some early problems.

With the score on 48, Clarke trapped the other Carlow opener LBW and the 4s were up and running.  After that, Monjur took control with his in-swingers.  Married life has been a revelation for this lad!  Five dot balls to Rocky built the pressure.  Number six was the charm.  Off-side and the bails went flying.  After this, Carlow struggled to get any real partnerships going.  Monjur plugged away and his reward was 4 for 37 off 9 overs.

At the other end, Ijaz Ahmed replaced Clarke.  Ijaz bowled with a bit more pace than Clarke (snails have more pace than Clarke!).  This kept the pressure on Carlow.  Ijaz’s figures of 3 for 22 included an excellent catch by the flying goalkeeper that is Matt Gregg.

After drinks, Hillman replaced Ijaz and finished the innings with his first two wickets for Phoenix.

An excellent performance in the field also saw Tom Stevens take a skier at mid-on and Evan ‘I didn’t know he was a keeper’ Chester take one behind the stumps.  It was a great performance by Evan showing real talent with the gloves.

Carlow were dismissed for 111 in 24.2 overs.  With 50 minutes to the scheduled tea-time, the umpires informed Phoenix that they would be batting until 4 o’clock.

Tom and Lineesh opened the batting and looked good for their partnership of 35.  A bit of a wobble followed with Tom, Lineesh and Raj all back in the dressing room before tea was called.  It was with to M&M (Michael Godwin and Matt Gregg) to see the 4s to tea with any further damage.

After a lovely tea prepared and served by Mrs Lesley Anders, M&M headed back to the middle.  They took the time to get back in.  But once in, they pushed on and saw the 4s home with 7 wickets in hand and nearly 20 overs to spare.  Gregg finished on 40* and Godwin on 23*.

A seven wicket win and 24 points in the bag.

Thank you to the following:

Colm Byrne – for the pitch

Lesley Anders – for the teas

Conor Dillon – for scoring

Next up is Malahide on the 15th.

PS – The something blue – one or two fingers when the temperature dropped!

Willie Clarke