The 3rds were keen to make amends for their last 2 defeats and with the sun blaring, spirits were high before their clash with Division 6 newcomers Longford. Longford won the toss and decided to bat.
Ben White and Matt Gregg opened the bowling with little impact and Phoenix were quickly on the back foot with Longford knocking up 50 after just 6 overs.
This prompted captain Jones to bring on the old war horse, Chris Cavanagh and this worked with immediate impact.
A catch loops up to Mike Godwin in the gully and after managing to grass it had the presence in mind to fire at the stumps for a run out.
Chris Cavanagh then went through the Longford top order and was even on a hat trick at one stage to even up the contest.
With tight bowling from Graham Morris, Aaron Joseph and Nitin Naik Phoenix restricted Longford to 171.
Bard Ovenden and Saeed Shah went about the run chase with Ovenden falling without troubling the scorer. Cavanagh followed and Phoenix were quickly 2/8.
Saeed was joined by Sajad and the 2 of them rebuilt the innings with telling contributions of 30 each. Sajad fell an over before drinks and game was tight at 3/70.
Quick wickets fell and Phoenix were soon 8/90 and looking 2nd best. Matt Gregg and Graham Morris stayed cool to bring Phoenix within 20 of the total required before Morris departed for 23. Captain Jones unfortunately didn’t last long enough and the 3s found themselves 14 runs short with Matt Gregg 27* the not out batsman.
Another case of what might have been and with 2 cup matches this week the boys will have to find the form they are capable of or it will be a year of no cups and fighting for survival.