Under 15 Update – Omnibus Edition
v YMCA – Cup Semi Final
v YMCA – League
v Malahide – League
v North County – League

The matches have been coming thick and fast so here’s a roundup of the last 10 days’ action.

v YMCA – Cup Semi Final

Having been somewhat messed around by the “authorities” we were forced to face a full strength YMCA side without our captain James and having to concede home advantage. Nevertheless we travelled in hope and, having lost the toss but being asked to bat (which we would have done anyway), our gallant group of warriors set about the much vaunted YMCA attack. Stephen crashed the first ball through cover and himself and Louis put on 98 before Louis was out to a quite stunning one handed catch on 56. Theo joined Stephen and we put on 97 for the last 10 overs with some great shots eventually ending our 30 overs on 190; with Stephen making 88 and Theo 32*.

We needed to bowl well and unfortunately although Theo was tight and Joe took 2 wickets we bowled a little short and their high quality bats got them home in the 25th over with 3 wickets down. A gallant defeat, though the quality of some of our batting was the best that I’ve seen from the guys.

Team : Louis, Stephen, Theo, Abdullah, Callum, Joe, Neil, Sarah, Ali K, Ryan, Georgina.

v YMCA – League

Three days later the sides met again in the league, YMCA were without 3 Irish Internationals and and we had Ahmed and Alison Black in for Sarah and Neil.

Stephen and Louis started well before they were dismissed in consecutive balls by a 6 year old (well he looked like he was 6 – apparently he was 11 – either way it wasn’t ideal). All of our top order failed to shine and while Joe and Ahmed, with 11 each, provided some resistance, the fact that Extras topped scored with 24 told a tale as we were bowled out for a disappointing 92.

Nic and the Manager gently reminded the team that it wasn’t their finest hour and asked that they show some fight in the field. That they did with Stephen taking 3, Ryan got 1 and a runout and we regained a level of respectability with only a 5 wicket defeat. Funnily enough, even though the history books will show we lost the Cup by 7 wickets and the League by 5 wickets, the Cup performance was much better.

v Malahide – League

We travelled to Malahide (with only 10, Ahmed being the only one missing from the last match) hoping to break our losing run. We started solidly with an early wicket for Abdullah followed by some very tight bowling that had them only with 67 on the board after 18. Their main player came in and smashed 63 before Abdullah got him. Ali Keenan bowled great taking a key wicket, and Callum also got a wicket as they closed on 170.

To say we were cruising would be an understatement as we reached 84 off 13 without loss before Louis was eventually run out for 36. Then Abdullah run out also – (No Run Outs, No Chipping !!). Theo and Stephen got us to needing 40 off the last 9 – again no problem – then bang, Theo is out for 19, bang, James is out quickly and bang, Stephen has to retire after another brilliant 76 not out. All of a sudden we’re in dire trouble and we fairly meekly surrendered 8 runs short with Callum stranded.

All in all probably the most disappointing defeat for this team, and they knew it. Hopefully the poor selection of shots and game management lessons would be learned quickly

v North County – League

We got a quick chance to right the situation two days later. Ahmed was back and two debutants Sophie McDonough and Aisling Keating replaced the airport bound Theo and Georgina. James turned up at the wrong ground (& for that he gets the “fine of the year” award).

Batting first, Stephen was shock horror out relatively cheaply, as was Abdullah, and we were 51 for 2. Then the Louis and James show started as they both reached 75 not out (lovely batting) with Callum also hitting a quick 18 as we reached 215 for 5 with 2 retirements.

Although our bowling started a little off beam we quickly regained our composure and when Callum and Louis combined to stump their opener for 44 we were in control. 2 wickets for Stephen and Callum plus a run out, combined with great economy from James, Joe and Ali Keenan saw them close on 140 for 5, giving us a solid 75 run win.


So, 4 games in 10 days and what we have learned is that this group does your club proud, that we need to deepen the playing resources (we have only 7 genuine U15 Boys !!) and that they are a great bunch of cricketers.

I leave you now for the rest of the season as we travel.


U15 Boys v Leinster – 13/7/2017

The Under 15’s continued their league campaign with a visit from Leinster to the Park on Thursday. This was going to be a step up in class of opposition as Leinster have been on a good run and although they were missing a couple of players so were we.

The team that took the field was – James Maginnis, Stephen Black, Louis McDonough, Abdullah Tariq, Theo Dempsey, Callum O’Byrne, Joe McCarthy, Ryan Condell, Sarah White, Ali Keenan, Georgina Dempsey – 12th Alison Black.

Clearly James has not been practising tossing as he lost for the third match in a row and so into the field we went with the objective of keeping the score to a chaseable target.

We got off to a flyer, Abdullah got one opener to nick off to Louis and the other took on Callum’s arm looking for a second run, bad idea 10 for 2. They rebuilt well and had got to 85 for 2 when a bit of Joe magic resulted in a stumping for Louis. Callum, Joe and Stephen got wickets and they were 112 for 6. However they wagged a bit and the girls had to take over with Sarah getting rid of their last dangerman and Ali getting two in two balls though the lads should have given her an aggressive field for the hat-trick ball. They closed on 174 for 9 off 30 overs

Half time team talk, usual guff from the Manager about no chipping, run outs or general stupidity

Stephen and Louis opened with their now usual skill and application and had got us to 57 when Louis was out for 21, followed quickly by Stephen for 33. First collapse of the season ?, not a chance as James and Abdullah restored order with a 76 run partnership with Abdi going for 26. James brought up his 50 and no sooner had he raised his bat when he was back in the sheds. Callum and Theo were charged with getting us home and although it took a bit longer than hoped they got the job done with 3 balls to spare, Theo 20* Callum 13*. Never felt we were going to be short.

Overall best win of the season given the opposition and onwards to Cup and League fixtures v YMCA.

Legend of the Day : Less obvious than previous but James Maginnis for 50 and three economic overs

Honourable Mentions : Ali Keenan 2 for 19; Joe McCarthy 2 for 43


U15 Boys v Clontarf – 10/7/2017

The Under 15’s continued their quest for cup glory with a visit from Clontarf on Monday. With skipper James Maginnis returning from international hockey duty and Neil Kirtane returning from injury it was a strong team minus only Ahmed Shah that took the field
The team (12) who played were as follows – James Maginnis, Stephen Black, Louis McDonough, Abdullah Tariq, Theo Dempsey, Callum O’Byrne, Joe McCarthy, Sarah White, Neil Kirtane, Ali Keenan, Ryan Condell, Georgina Dempsey.

James lost the toss (0/2 – time to start practicing) and we were in the field.

Theo and Abdullah opened and while Theo got an early wicket (good catch from Sarah White) it was clear that Clontarf had batsmen with a good level of “stickability”. First changes with Stephen and Joe and then second changes with Callum and James didn’t provide a breakthrough and there was a lack of something (decisive bowling, effective fielding, sleepiness !!, daydreaming !!) on the day. While Abdullah got a couple of late wickets and some typical end of innings run outs Clontarf closed on 152 for 6 off their 25 overs. Credit to batsmen McCabe 63 and Vincent 61* who showed good talent and skill.

Coach Nic and Manager weren’t overly impressed with the first half and while Alex Ferguson’s hairdryer wasn’t used the team were reminded that they hadn’t reached their own high standards. So off to bat we went with the usual “No Chipping” or “No Top Order Runouts” in their ears. Fortified with jellies and biscuits Stephen and Louis set about their task.

As a game of two halves our second half was much better, the openers got off to a quick start and were well ahead of the rate when Louis was caught for a solid 34 (partnership 71) and then Abdullah joined Stephen “Run Machine”. A further partnership of 66 ended with Stephen out for an excellent 71 and James joined Abdullah 31* to bring the team home by 8 wickets with 6 overs to spare.

Overall a professional second half display saw the team progress to a semi final meeting next Monday v YMCA – I would recommend anyone with an interest in the club’s next generation to see this match, we will be underdogs but hopefully we can bite !!

Thanks as always to the parents for getting the team there on time, thanks Louis for cycling cross town from rugby training to keep wicket and Adam Chester for umpiring (we definitely were looking for DRS on the run out !!)

Legend of the Day – Stephen Black 71 and 5 good overs of spinning

Onwards to a league game v Leinster on Thursday


U15 Boys v The Hills – 7/7/2017

After last week’s win v Munster it was The Hills who visited a dull and overcast Park on Friday, 7 July. Without skipper James Maginnis (on international hockey duty) and the injured Neil Kirtane, the side who lined out was as follows – Louis McDonough (c), Stephen Black, Theo Dempsey, Abdullah Tariq, Callum O’Byrne, Joe McCarthy, Ahmed Shah, Ryan Condell, Christian Clarke, James Tyrrell and Lucy McDonough – with James and Lucy making their U15 debuts.

Louis won the toss and we decided to have a bat. Instructions were the usual – No Chipping, No Run Outs, No Messing – solid cricket, do the basics well and let the result take care of itself.

Stephen Black opened in aggressive mode and in no time we were 57 for 0 and Stephen was on 45. Louis joined in the fun with a few sixes and they brought up the century partnership and then Stephen retired on the maximum 75 no (OFF 34 BALLS !! – do the maths that a pretty solid strike rate). Louis went soon after for 24 and then Abdullah and Theo continued with Theo making a swift 18 off 9. Callum joined Abdullah and they put on an excellent century partnership, plenty of good shots with eventually Abdullah out for 52 and Callum for 59, his maiden half century. Ahmed Shah showed his talent with some good hitting in the final overs.

In the end we closed on 286 for 5 off 30 overs with two century partnerships – I doubt if there has been many higher scores in Phoenix Youth cricket.

Theo and Abdullah opened the bowling, with Theo getting a wicket and then Ahmed and Callum followed, tidily but without success. While the run rate was low the lack of wickets was frustrating when Stephen Black unearthed his new off spin with a wicket off his first ball and then with Joe McCarthy they produced a spell of 4 wickets for very little off 6 overs – Joe in particular had it on a string for about 2 overs – very impressive. We then had a debut wicket for James Tyrrell before Abdullah finished with a spell of 20 Balls 18 Dots 2 Wickets (Read that and weep all you adult bowlers !!) – eventually they closed on 103 for 8 off their 30 to give us a 183 run success.

Credit to a young The Hills side who never stopped trying.

Overall solid performance, played what was in front of them, there will be harder tasks ahead starting with the Cup Quarter Final on Monday v Clontarf. Great thanks to Lucy, James and Christian who stepped up for us and performed very well in the field – great fielding clearly is a family wide gene in the McDonough household

Legend of the Day – Stephen Black
Notable Sub Legends – Abdullah Tariq, Callum O’Byrne

In sport


U15 Boys v Munster – 21/6/2017 (League & Cup)

After the T20 skirmishes last week with an understrength side (the details of which are already forgotten) the full Under 15 side led by James Maginnis opened their season with a League game v Munster (yes the whole province !!) in a sweltering Phoenix Park.

The day started with the discovery that the match would also double as the first round of the Cup so it was doubly important to get off to a winning start.

With players away brushing up on their Irish (hopefully) and others deciding on whether cricket is “the beautiful game” for them the side that started was James Maginnis (c), Louis McDonough, Stephen Black, Abdullah Tariq, Theo Dempsey, Joe McCarthy, Sarah White, Ahmed Shah, Neil Kirtane, Ryan Condell and Georgina Dempsey.
After their captain guessed right we were inserted into the heat for 30 overs of fun & frolics.

Theo and James opened on the money (except when they were wide !) and after 8 overs they had only made 13 and James had removed one of their openers. Ahmed and Abdullah kept up the pressure with Ahmed getting a couple of wickets and James ran out one of their key batsmen. We always looked solid apart from the odd bit of sleepiness in the field (no names you know who you are !) and kept the run rate down. Eventually they closed on 121 for 6 with 2 wickets for Ahmed, one each for Theo, James and Ryan and a runout. Their opener, Hickey deserves honourable mention for a well crafted 43. Shout out to Georgina who took a major blow to the shins saving a four and didn’t blink (Author would have waved it by !!).

Needing just over 4 an over the message in the dressing room was clear, nothing stupid, no run outs or gentle chips to the field. Given that the same advice was totally ignored last week it was stressed a bit more strongly.

Stephen & Louis opened and to the Manager’s delight did exactly as required, solid cricket – good balls treated respectfully and bad balls punished – and when Louis was excellently caught by their captain for 26 the score had reached 65 off 10. Abdullah took over and the mature display continued until he was out just before the end for 20.
Stephen carried his bat for a superb 67 not out (off 64 balls), a mixture of good stroke play and solid defence.

All in all a really professional display with an 8 wicket victory from an excellent team who did your club proud.

Sincere thanks to all the parents but in particular Michelle, Alison and Sandra who helped make it an enjoyable day and our thanks to Munster who performed admirably with what appeared to be quite a young side.

Legend of the Day ​​- Stephen Black 67 not out