6th XI v Greystones 3 (away) – 5/6/2016

A glorious summers day provided the backdrop for the return fixture v Greystones 3. Having had a narrow defeat in the Park the Sixes were intent on seeking revenge. This was a much changed Sixes line up with Senior Debuts for Debjyoti Haldar and Joe McCarthy, League Debuts for Huzaifah Babur and the Scorer and a return to senior action for David McCullough.

With the sun beaming this was a key toss for the Skipper to win, which he duly lost and so the crew traipsed onto the field for 40 overs of toil in the heat.

Debjyoti and Paddy Keating opened with great accuracy but no luck and after 8 overs Greystones for 27 without loss but then they accelerated through aggressive batting, wayward bowling and indifferent fielding reaching 88 without loss at drinks. After drinks the runs continued though there was the odd breakthrough as Paddy Keating, Debjyoti, Callum, David McCullough and Rehan all eventually took wickets but at a cost as Greystones racked up 225 for 5 which set an imposing target.

The Skipper and Abdullah Tariq opened and after Abdullah departed David McCullough joined the skipper to form an experienced pairing. With a mixture of solid defence and regular quality shots (a fine six by David and some well stuck boundaries by the Skipper notable) the pair safely saw us through to drinks at 79 for 1. Ageing limbs are not suited to breaks and after drinks the runs dried up and David for out for a fine 38 followed soon after by the Skipper for 39, both excellent knocks in the heat. Callum and Emmet came and went notable for a glorious six from Emmet and then Huzaifah Babur batted strongly to the finish making 29 not out with Debjyoti also not out on 9. In the end we made 162 for 5 which is a solid 6XI batting total thus losing by 63 runs.

In truth the side was a little short in the field though the experience of giving more and more players the experience of league cricket is invaluable as we increase the strength in depth of the team and club in general. For next season we will have to find a way to get their opening 3 or 4 out cheaply as twice this season they have made large scores at the top of the order.

Aidan O’Byrne

6th XI v Dundalk 2 (at home) – 22/5/2016

The Magnificent Sixes © continued their 2016 campaign with a home game against Dundalk 2 in the Park hoping to open their winning account for the season.

On a damp day and with skies foreboding there was no major pre toss discussions this week and the skipper guessed right again and decided to have a bat. Little did we know of the excitement that was to follow.

Bolstered by Louis McDonough and Stephen Black we got off to a solid start against a sharp opening Dundalk pair before Stephen was out for 11. Harry Fay joined Louis and they put on a fine 55 partnership with both contributing solidly before Harry was out for an excellent 31. Drinks arrived at 94 for 3 and a good total looked on with Louis well set. Alas the middle order came and went in the blink of an eye and we were 120 for 7 when the skipper (moving from opening to No 9) arrived to shepherd Louis. A very critical partnership of 33 was achieved with the skipper contributing a solid 12 and Louis moving through the gears into the 70’s. Paddy Keating arrived at No 11 for the last few overs as Louis tried manfully to reach three figures but eventually we were all out off the last ball of the innings for 173 with Louis carrying hit bat for a superb 86 not out.

Various rain showers were occurring at regular intervals at this stage as we took the field.

Openers Abdullah Tariq and Ronan Harris set to their task with Abdullah opening with 2 maidens and Ronan removing their opener for a duck. Dundalk then got moving but lost a couple of wickets in the process but at 85 for 3 just before drinks were looking set when Paddy Keating bowled a wicket maiden and then was removed from the attack. After drinks we had a purple patch with Abdullah Tariq moving to figures of 2 for 2 off 5 with further wickets for Harry and Louis (some fine keeping by Liam Keating contained) and all of a sudden they were 93 for 7. They wagged a little before Ronan and Stephen added wickets to have them 133 for 9. Enter my fellow scorer Seamus at Number 11 who clearly had understated his cricketing ability in the shed as he and his No 10 colleague set amount turning the game around. Bowling hindered by the wet conditions (!) allied with some strong hitting and all of a sudden Dundalk are 170 for 9 and needing 4 to win off 4 overs. Enter Paddy Keating he of the wicket maiden and after conceding a single tempted Seamus who skied into the gloomy air for Liam backpedalling fast to take a fine match winning catch and thus providing the Sixes with the win and also one of the many Father/Son moments that the Sixes are famous for

Snatching defeat from victory and then victory snatching it back again – all in a normal weekend as the Sixes win by 3 runs.

Aidan O’Byrne

6th XI v Rush (at home) – 15/5/2016

The Magnificent Sixes © continued their 2016 campaign with a home game against Rush in the Park.

The usual Dads and Lads team were more like Dads Army for this fixture with few youths available for one reason or another. Conversely Rush fielded a very young side bolstered by some of their very successful youths teams of recent years.

There was some inter-team discussion pre toss about what we would do, Skipper wanted to bat, listened carefully to all differing views, won the toss and batted. Skipper and Tom Walker opened and whilst not scoring many runs (Skipper making Chris Tavare look like Viv Richards) used up some of the opening bowling which when good was very good but also saw JD Extras clock up a few runs.

After Skipper, Tom and Emmet departed Callum O’Byrne and Ronan Harris tried to push on and had us at 60 for 3 at drinks, which then quickly became 80 for 3 and then even quicker became 84 for 7, tea at home looked a possibility. Enter Rehan Quareshi and Harry Fay who held the ship together, making runs and also forcing JD Extras to ratchet it up a bit, including the rare 5 penalty runs for hitting the keepers helmet.

The score ticked on nicely and surprisingly given where we were we finished on 147 for 9 with Extras top scoring with 45, Ronan Harris 22 and Callum O’Byrne 19 being the other notables though Rehan and Harry deserve great credit also.

Rush replied with their all youth top order and to be fair were quickly on top despite the best efforts of Ronan and Abdullah Tariq. Each of the Rush batsmen played their shots and we struggled to break through though Rehan eventually removed one of the openers followed by Jonathan Ebbs (who was solid all day as keeper) stumping the other one off Tom Walker. Abdullah Tariq bowled a good spell from the Road end and was eventually rewarded but ultimately Rush pushed on for a comfortable 7 wicket win.

In summary we always looked a bit short (& old !) when we appraised the teams at the start and this proved correct. The young Rush team were solid in all facets of the game and run out deserving winners.

Aidan O’Byrne

6th XI v Greystones (at home) – 2/5/2016

Niall Black’s Mighty Sixes opening their 2016 campaign with a home fixture against Greystones. The usual mix of Dads and Lads were hoping to open their account with a home win. The Skipper won the toss and on a blustery day which made bowling difficult opted to have a bat.

The Skipper and Sankeerth Karpe opened and Niall conscious of waiting until the leaves were falling from the trees to open his account last season made a positive start as they put on 45 for the first wicket before the Skipper was plumb. In came Tom Walker after a years sabbatical for new Dad duties and quickly showed no rustiness as he as Sankeerth kept the score ticking over until they had one close run too many. After Liam Keating departed to a good catch Ronan Harris joined Sankeerth and Ronan attacked from the off and just when he was starting to motor he was out on Nelson for 23. Sankeerth has at this stage passed 50 and needed some support and this arrived with an excellent partnership of 89 between him and Callum O’Byrne which took the side to 200. Unfortunately time was running out for them and Sankeerth eventually perished on 94 having played an exceptional innings. Callum too fell short of his maiden senior 50 as he remained unbeaten on 46 as the innings closed on 202 for 6 – It looked an imposing total

In response it became immediately clear that Greystones had a stronger batting than bowling attack as their experienced openers quickly moved through the gears against a variety of bowlers to reach 75 without loss in quick time. Eventually Rehan Quareshi broke the partnership and then Tom Walker on return bowled a fine miserly spell which included a wicket. Unfortunately there were expensive overs at regular intervals but when Ronan Harris stormed in with some pace and took 3 quick wickets it was game on though time was running out. First senior wickets for Callum O’Byrne and David Jolley followed as the game reached its crescendo as it became apparent that the Greystones tail wouldn’t wag for long. However Greystones prevailed in the 38th over with seven wickets down for a three wicket win.

Overall an encouraging start for the Sixes and the game was played in exemplary spirit by the two sides.

Aidan O’Byrne