by Conor Dillon
Phoenix travelled to the Maws to face the league leaders looking for revenge for two defeats earlier this season. This was a crunch match for Phoenix’s promotion hopes in its own right. Rory Anders and Tyler Balogh were missing from the side that had comfortably accounted for Mullingar on its last outing. David Ford won the toss and inserted the home team on their artificial wicket. The eleven who took the field for Phoenix were Captain David Ford, wicket keeper Amit Battan, Thomas Anders, Vish Vaidyanathan, Dumisani MagaLa, Eoin Cleere, Adam Chester, Mark Gibson-McKenna, Branem Adams, Mohammad Tayyab, Ben White.
Thomas Anders and Branem Adams took the new ball against Neavyn and Mohammad. Adams managed to remove both openers with one catch himself and the other caught by Vaidyanathan. However, Vorster and Singh added 55 in 40 minutes for the home team and when Vorster was out the veteran Ian Walshe arrived at the crease and remained for the rest of the innings. The contribution from the partnerships varied a bit and Chester and Gibson-McKenna took two wickets each with White taking one.Adams took a further two and Walshe was down to his last partner. It was 193 for 9. Unfortunately, Phoenix were unable to remove MacNiocaill and he and Walshe added 48 in an unbroken stand for the last wicket. Walshe was the top scorer for the home team with 71.
Ford and Battan set out in pursuit of a target of 242 and added a quick 14. Then Phoenix suffered a double setback when Battan was lbw to Mohammad for 7 and Anders was clean bowled immediately by the same bowler. Vaidyanathan survived the hat trick ball but he soon fell to Mohammad for 5. Ford had reached 25 when he was surprisingly bowled by Ali. 73 for 4. Cleere and Magala were in good form and Phoenix looked to have a chance while they stayed together. The stand ended when Magala was stumped for 45. After his half century for the 3rd xi at Longford the previous day Chester made a promising start to his innings but was dismissed for 19 with Neavyn taking the vital catch. Cleere next lost Gibson-McKenna and was then out for 53 himself which was the highest score of the innings. Adams proved adhesive as usual but Tayyab’s 14 and White’s 1 were not enough and Phoenix were all out for 205 to lose by 36 runs.
Best bowling Branem Adams 4-44
Top scorer Eoin Cleere 53 runs