This report in from Willie Clarke (heartbeat of the 4th XI?)
The Future is closer than you think!
North 4 v Phoenix 4
Sunday, 12th July 2015
Team: John Anders (c), Louis McDonough (wk), Lineesh Ramachandran, Aidan Chester, Adam Bampfield, Callum Gillespie, James McDonough, Evan Chester, Grant White, Willie Clarke, Muhammad Younas
Last Sunday, the 4s made the trip up the M1 to face top of the table North County.
The team showed four changes from the previous week. Nothing new really has Captain Anders hasn’t had the luxury of a settled team all season for reason or another. Younas became the 27th player to take to the field for the 4th XI this season (this was our 10th match).
County won the toss and elected to bat. To say their top three (J Andrews, M Murphy and J Murphy) were experienced players would be an understatement. This experience plus some late order bat swinging saw them reach 307 for 7 off their 45 overs. (This was not helped by the concession of 61 extras – Anders has pulled so much hair out of his head at this stage we are starting a collection for hair replacement treatment).
It could have been much if it wasn’t for the bowling heroics of the Lineesh (3 for 26 off 5 overs). He never told us he could bowl!!
Even though 61 extras were conceded, it was a great effort by the bowlers. Younas (1 for 29) bowled fast and accurate while Clarke (1 for 41) bowled accurately from the other end. Anders and Bampfield plugged away over the openers took a well-deserved break. Evan Chester bowled through the pain of a sore back while Louis McDonough swapped the keeping pads to bowl 5 overs of tempting leg-spin.
While 308 was a massive target to chase, the team knew it could be done especially with the quick outfield and short boundaries.
Aidan C and Lineesh opened the batting. Aidan was looking set until his was adjudged LBW. (Ed:gunned by Bisto you mean!!) Bampfield got in but couldn’t make the most of his start.
Callum joined Lineesh at the crease and together put on a nice partnership. Callum scored 24 before holing out trying to up the run rate. Lineesh followed for a well-made 38.
Evan (6), Grant (14), Willie ‘Promoted up the order after badgering the captain’ Clarke (15) and Anders (17) made contributions but the mainstay of the innings was James McDonough who scored an impressive 55 to ensure some bonus points were gleaned from the game. Younas and Louis add a few late runs to make the final total of 233 a little more respectable.
The 4s have scored 212 and 233 in the last 2 games and lost. The concession of too many extras has certainly not helped our cause.
However, in the last few games we have seen the emergence of some of our youth players. These youngsters have become the core of the 4th XI batting order.
Evan Chester scored runs (47*) in our cup game recently away to Greystones. He is also contributing a very handy 5 or 6 overs in his game.
James McDonough made 41* in that cup game and has now followed it up with 55 against a strong North County side. Hopefully he will be back bowling soon and will add another dimension to our bowling attack.
Callum Gillespie has cemented his position at number 4 with his recent performances. He has scored consistently in recent games and there is more to come from him.
Louis McDonough, our pocket rocket. Keeps wicket for 22 overs. Gives the pads to Grant and then bowls a few overs of leg-spin. Then he bats whenever he is needed.
Devon Dismore (who is still only 18) must feel like an old timer in the team!
It is unlikely the 4s will defend their D9 title but a strong finish to the season could see them finish in the top 3.
Next up this Saturday is a trip to Druid’s Glen for a vital game against Greystones.