by Alan Maginnis

Phoenix hosted North Leinster rivals Clontarf for this weather-affected though, much anticipated, cup clash. Clontarf’s proven U11 squad was to face a fresh, optimistic Phoenix team unbeaten so far this season.

Phoenix batted first and quickly came to experience their first taste of accurate bowling in a match situation. Our talented batsmen failed to apply themselves getting bowled out in 15 of the allotted 20 overs with a score of 31 runs. The lack of competitive match practice against this level of opposition clearly took its toll on the Phoenix players. One bright light for the Phoenix batting was Theo Dempsey who showed good technique and ‘stickability’ at the crease. However, 5 Phoenix batsmen didn’t trouble the scorer, neither in runs scored nor balls faced. And with 3 run outs and potentially 3 others, the running between the wickets needs to improve significantly as the season progresses. Currie and McNiece were the pick of the Clontarf bowlers, with McNiece taking 3 wickets in the last over of the game.

In stark contrast to the batting display, the Phoenix bowling was excellent. The stand out bowler for Phoenix was Haashim Sohail with figures of 2 wickets for 2 runs off 4 overs. He has performed consistently with his pace and accuracy this season – good luck in his U11 Leinster trials! The low Phoenix total was impossible to defend. Some excellent batting from Makin, Currie and Barry saw the Clontarf team to victory in only the 9th over.

The Phoenix boys were clearly deflated, but they will pick themselves up and learn from some of the basic mistakes made. There is a good U11 A squad of 14 or so players. They have an exciting future if they continue to listen to their coaches, apply themselves in their matches, and most of all, have great fun playing together.

We would like to thank all the parents who came to support the boys. Importantly, we thank the club members and officials who came to support the team – notably Club President Michael Brown, Head Coach Matt Lunson, Club Professional Jan H Steenkamp and many other interested club members. The boys appreciated it.