After two false starts with the matches against Balbriggan and YMCA being called off before a ball was bowled, the Phoenix first X1’s league campaign finally got underway on May bank holiday Monday. The team which included some new recruits, some successes from our youth system and some older favourites was:
We had to wait for the outfield to dry out so the start was delayed to 2.20 and the match was reduced to 40 overs per side. The students won the toss and invited Phoenix to bat. Taylor and Ahmed opened and both settled in comfortably. Ahmed treated the reasonable number of spectators to some flamboyant shots and scored 7 boundaries including a huge six before he was out caught in the tenth over for 35 with the score on 57. Skipper Lawrence then had a good solid partnership of 45 with Taylor before Taylor was caught behind on 34. Next in was this season’s club professional Anderson who stayed with his captain until he reached a well worked 50 off 55 balls. Anderson was then caught on 16 and was closely followed by Lawrence who was run out on 52 while attempting a quick single. With the score on 146 for 4 the batting began to resemble your correspondent (a little bit wobbly) and limped on to 161 for 7 after 31 overs.
The word was that returning member and former club captain Dickenson had some mobility issues but he certainly had no ball striking issues and he reinvigorated proceedings and ended the innings not out on the top score of 53 which included 8 boundaries and very few dot balls. The Phoenix innings closed on 232 for 8 off the allotted 40 overs.
As they took the field after tea Phoenix were quietly confident they could defend 232 and after a stunning first over their confidence soared. Anderson opened the bowling and his second ball trapped M. Hogan LBW. The dangerous returning Trinity professional Tasman-Jones then strode to the crease a little earlier than I am sure he was expecting. One ball later and out LBW, he was returning to the warmth of the pavilion much earlier than anyone expected. His first over for Phoenix and Anderson was on a hat trick. The number 4 blocked out the rest of the over but as first overs as a club professional go a double wicket maiden would bring a nod of approval from even the grumpiest of our members (better not mention any names here but some were present).
After this catastrophic start the students never really recovered. There was a spirited partnership of 72 between Gorvin (35) and D. Hogan (40) for the third wicket but after that they fell away and nobody else scored more than 12. Phoenix used six bowlers all of whom had reasonable figures. Anderson finished on 4 overs 2 for 13 and new member Scott had 4 overs 3 for 20. Coach (you just can’t keep him out of the action) Lunson had the best bowling figures. He bowled numbers 5 and 6 and I hesitate,but not for too long, to use the word burgled the final 2 wickets of the innings to finish on figures of 5.4 overs 4 for 18.
Dublin University ended up 118 all out in 30.4 overs.
A win by 114 runs for Phoenix, full double points and we all retired to the newly refurbished pavilion for a well deserved warming libation.