There wasn’t much action this weekend with two of the four scheduled games being cancelled. The 4th XI defence of the Intermediate cup must wait a while longer as their visit to Pembroke fell foul of the weather. While the 2nd XI had their home match scheduled for Saturday called off by the umpires the night before. The 2nd XI did get out on Sunday and built on their recent cup success. However there was no such good news for the 5th XI who continued to struggle with the bat and, for the second year running, crashed out of the Junior Cup at the first hurdle against Laois.

Sunday June 10th – Junior Cup – Phoenix 5th XI -v- Laois

The 5th XI’s batting woes continued as they were once again put to the sword but a very tidy Laois outfit. Last year saw the visitors rack up a total of 222. Only a magnificent 96 from Nitin Naik gave Phoenix any hope that day. And despite keeping the visitors under the 200 mark this time Phoenix just didn’t have the firepower to threaten to chase the runs down.

Phoenix did start well with the ball with both Aalishan Moosavi and Marc Gibson-McKenna opening up. Gibson-McKenna was particularly unlucky early on. It is a rare day when he finishes without a wicket but it wasn’t to be for him last Sunday. He did see a couple of chances go to ground, though, and can count himself unlucky. Moosavi did get the early breakthrough but Laois were unflustered. Even a quickfire double from Golden Arm Anders couldn’t upset their apple cart.

Jazz Singh was the visitors star with the bat as he ended up unbeaten on 73. Hashmi Khan also bowled well for the home side picking up a wicket, and executing a run out, and Craig Nicholson picked up another but Laois close on 187 for 5.

In reply Phoenix made a half decent start but some good bowling tied them down. Alan Maginnis (24) rattled off a few quick runs before falling. At the drinks break Phoenix were 45 for 3 and needed to up the ante. Laois had other ideas, though, and restricted the hosts with some good bowling.

In an all too familiar pattern wickets began to tumble in quick succession. 56 for 3 turned into 79 for 9 alarmingly quickly. Only Moosavi (12) provided any resistance. Moore and Nicholson added a few for the last wicket but Phoenix were well short being wrapped up for 93 all out.

Phoenix lost by 94 runs

Sunday June 10 – Division 4 – North Kildare -v- Phoenix 2nd XI

The 2nd XI made it back to back wins after their dramatic cup victory recently broke their losing streak. David Ford’s side are starting to build a little momentum at an important time of the season and will be hoping to press on from here on in. With some serious talent on an upward curve in his panel the potential for a strong season is there.

North Kildare batted first and were pinned back by Tom Anders and Chris Cavanagh. The big Scot got the first breakthrough but the home side stuck in there and proved hard to remove. Rory Anders and Stevie Neill couldn’t get into the hosts either so the skipper decided to introduce himself. It proved an inspired decision as he went on to bag a 5 for. Ford has been prolific with the ball this season and now has 14 wickets to his name. It was a good effort all as North Kildare were held to 153 all out.

Tom Anders and David Ford led the Phoenix reply and got the side off to a great start with a 50 partnership before the skipper was run out. McNelis and Vaidyanthan fell before 100 was reached but Tom Anders was intractable. Along with Jonty Wardell they ticked the score over until the teams were level. Tom Anders (69) couldn’t see his side over the line but he’d done his job as the game ended one ball after his dismissal to wrap up another fine win for the 2nd XI.

Phoenix won by 6 wickets