by Conor Dillon
Traffic for Bloom proved to be an issue for Captain Ford and your correspondent but happily the journey ended in a sufficiently punctual conclusion. Phoenix were looking for revenge against the men from The Maws after a recent Tillain Cup defeat but also two consecutive home reversals in the league. In Captain Ford’s absence Coach Lunson lost the toss and North Kildare chose to bat first. The eleven who took the field for Phoenix with Jonty Wardell out injured were: Captain David Ford, wicket keeper Amit Battan, Coach Matt Lunson, Phillip Keane, Thomas Anders, Vish Vaidyanathan, Mark Wells, Adam Chester, Matt Gregg, Ben White, Mohammed Tayyib.
Captain Ford resisted the temptation to lead the attack and instead the new ball was given to Thomas Anders and Ben white. Anders rewarded the skipper with the wicket of Satchwell – lbw for 3 – in his second consecutive maiden over. The second wicket brought North Kildare to 50 for 1 but then Chester struck with a direct hit to run out Manjit Singh who had anchored the visitors’ successful chase in the recent Tillain Cup clash. Neavyn and Dalton added 30 for the third wicket but both were bowled by Chester for 40 and 10 respectively. The next three wickets added 4, 0 and 4 as Lunson got an lbw verdict to remove the veteran Walshe and Thomas Anders had Gulab Singh caught by Battan and Anders then bowled Ali. Topping and Mohammed recovered things somewhat for the visitors with a stand of 50 against all bowlers used bar Lunson but White wrapped it up for Phoenix with wickets in his eighth and ninth over and so the visitors were all out for 166.
Phillip Keane and Amit Battan began the reply for Phoenix and the burly Kiwi was soon striking the ball to all parts of the ground. However, the stand ended at 36 after 24 minutes when Battan was caught by wicket keeper Neavyn off Manjit Singh. Keane continued on his merry way until he was out for 43 to make it 56 for 2. Singh got a third scalp when he had Anders caught and bowled for 7 which left Phoenix 100 short of victory with 7 wickets in hand.
The situation was deteriorating rapidly for Captain Ford as he watched from the non-striker’s end while Vaidyanathan and Wells were both lbw to Gulab Singh for 0. Ford was then caught by Neavyn bowled Gulab Singh for 12 and Lunson soon followed bowled Gulab Singh for 0. There followed a brave recovery effort from Chester and Gregg with the teenager in good touch and the former goalkeeper defiant at the other end. However, Chester’s dismissal for 36 effectively spelt the end for the Phoenix challenge. White did not last long and then Gregg was caught and bowled by Topping for 14. Phoenix lost by 39 runs.
Man of the Match: Adam Chester got the umpires’ verdict – 36 runs and 3-23