Two Phoenix sides kicked off their season this weekend despite the inclement weather in the week leading up to the fixtures. The 1st XI and 5th XI were both in action over the two days with the 1st XI opening their league campaign at home to Old Belvedere on Saturday before heading out to Rush for the BKISC Preliminary Round game on Sunday.
The 1st XI got off to a great start on Saturday and skittled Belvo for 49 runs. New overseas pro, Jan Hendrik Steenkamp, hit the ground running as he collected 4 wickets on debut. Both Tom and Rory Anders featured in the wickets as well as youth was to the fore in the 1st XI over the weekend. Phoenix knocked off the runs without losing a wicket with Masud Ahmed and Joe McKay seeing them home.
While the 1st XI made short work of their home match the 5th XI went the distance down in Anglesea Road against Merrion. A side featuring no less than five debutants were given a stiff task after being set 239 to win despite some good bowling from Marc Gibson-McKenna, Conor Hughes and Pajo McKinney.
It was a chase that was always likely to be beyond the new look side but Marc Gibson-McKenna provided the bright spot in Phoenix day as he batted superbly registering an unbeaten 50. Amazingly enough it was his first half not only in senior cricket but at any level. The first of many to follow in the years to come! Phoenix finished on 136 for 6.
The 1st XI followed up on their big opening day win with another comprehensive victory against Rush on Sunday. Phoenix restricted the hosts to 210 in their 50 overs. Chris Cavanagh was the pick of the bowlers taking 3 for 28 while the Anders brothers and Jan Hendrik Steenkamp once again made an impact.
Eoin Cleere came in to open the batting with Masud Ahmed and the pair shared a century stand. Ahmed was only deprived of a century when the rain came while he was on 91*. Phoenix collected a big win on Duckworth Lewis and now entertain Civil Service North in the first round proper in a fortnights time.