There was a full slate of games for the club over the last weekend running all the way into Monday evening’s Tillain Cup outing for the 2nd XI. There were mixed fortunes as the 1st XI continued their impressive start to the new season at home to Trinity while at the same time the 3r XI fared less well down in Sandyford. The 5th XI got the first win of the season under their belts while the 4th XI were shaded out against LCU new boys Swords.
Saturday May 19th – Division 2 – Phoenix 1st XI -v- Trinity
The 1st XI lost the toss on an overcast day and were put into bat by the visitors. This decision soon looked a good one as the hosts stumbled to 24 for 4 losing wickets at regular intervals. It seemed that Phoenix would fail to set their visitors any kind of total at all until a pronounced wag of the tail, Savage (25), Raza (19) and Sheikh (26), helped drag the hosts along to 143 all out in the 44th over.
It was not the target they would have hoped to set but it was a tricky one all the same. Phoenix made a superb start with Chris Cavanagh continuing to roll back the years as he snapped up the top three in the order before finishing with figures of 10-1-32-3.
Phoenix continued to chip away at their opponents with Tom Anders this time getting in on the act to open up the middle of the lineup. Only E Delany provided any resistance for the away side but when he fell to Anders for 47 to reduce his side to 82 for 8 it looked all but over.
It wasn’t quite done yet, though, as the visitors tail threatened to wag as well but Steenkamp came back on to snuff out Minch (4) before Raza ended the resistance having the final wicket caught at Mid On by Conor Kelly to wrap up another fine win.
Phoenix won by 22 runs
Saturday May 19th – Division 12 – Ballyeighan -v- Phoenix 5th XI
The 5th XI finally took the the field again after a long gap between their opening and second game. They traveled to Ballyeighan to play on a ground where runs are always hard to come by. Given that trait, having won the toss, Phoenix skipper, John Anders, asked the home side to set a total.
The Phoenix bowlers were superb throughout the day and credit is deserved by many. A special word goes to debutant Hamish O’Donnell who opened the bowling and returned figures of 8-4-12-1. The elder Anders collected figures of 8-3-11-2 while Keemar Edwards was top wicket take on the day with 8-1-11-3. In the end Phoenix restricted their opponents to 92 for 8 off their alloted 40 overs.
Phoenix found the going tough with the bat too, though, as Maginnis (10) and McMahon(0), on his debut, perished early. Michael Fahy (8) was a steady influence until he was run out. It was left to another couple of debutants, Nicolaas Leeuwenberg (13), and, Hashmi Khan (6), alongside Ian Heaton (7) to steady the ship mid innings.
However it was the introduction of O’Donnell at 7 that swayed the game in Phoenix favour. The Kiwi made 19 on the day and while it may not look a big total in the context of the game it was a huge knock. It propelled his side within touching distance of victory and eventually John Anders and Keemar Edwards took their side over the line for the win.
Phoenix won by 2 wickets
Saturday May 19th – Division 6 – Sandyford -v- Phoenix 3rd XI
While the 1st and 5th XI’s were setting themselves up for victory things weren’t going quite so well for the 3rd XI down in Marlay Park.
A long autopsy of the days events is not required. Suffice to say the only Phoenix batsman that managed double figures on the day was Aaron Joseph (16*) who carried his bat at the end having gone in at number 10. Phoenix were bundled out for 59 with only 25 of their over used up.
While Phoenix did their best to assail their opponents the writing was on the wall. The only bright spots were the figures of, Rory Anders, 6-2-15-1 and, Matt Gregg, 5-1-9-2 as they both bowled well in tough circumstances. It wasn’t to be enough, though, as Sandyford knocked off the required runs for the loss of four wickets inside of twenty overs.
Phoenix lost by 6 wickets
Sunday May 20th – Division 10 – Swords -v- Phoenix 4th XI
The 4th XI went to visit one of the new teams to the LCU ranks on Sunday morning. It was only the second outing of the season for the 4th XI who found themselves, temporarily, skippered by Graham Mooney once again.
Swords batted first and were steady, if unspectacular, in setting a total. The Phoenix bowlers held them in check for the most part with no Swords batsman progressing beyond the mid twenties. Spin was very much the order of the day when a wicket was needed as Ben White continued on last seasons form taking 7-0-25-4 with his leg breaks while the left arm spin of Graham Morris produced figures of 7.5-3-17-4. The home side were all out for 133 with one ball of the innings remaining.
It was a tricky total to chase but not an unmanageable one. However when Mooney and Gibson-McKenna departed early to leave Phoenix 4 for 2 the task became an uphill one. It took Michael Fahy and Graham Morris pairing up at the crease before Phoenix started to work their way back into the game. Fahy (24) was run out for the second day in a row but Morris kept chipping away at the total.
Morris was ably assisted by Edwards (17) for a while but the rest of the order struggled to get anything going. In the end Phoenix ran out of overs with their target just six more runs away. Morris carried his bat for 54 to add to his 4 wicket haul but, despite a superb individual effort on his part, it was not to be enough.
Phoenix lost by 6 runs
Elsewhere the 2nd XI had a bad weekend double header. First they were overwhelmed by Laois in Division 4 on Sunday. They conceded 279 runs before only managing around the 100 mark in reply. Then on Monday evening, despite an improved performance, they bowed out of the Tillain Cup losing by 4 wickets in the final over of the game.
This week sees another full slate of action starting with the 5th XI trip to Civil Service on Wednesday for the brand new LCU 20/20 Cup. The Ladies are in action in North Kildare on the same night.
The 3rd XI host Belvo in the Park on Saturday while the 5th XI travel to Dundalk. The 2nd XI host Leinster in the Senior 2 Cup on Sunday while the 1st XI travel to Stormont to take on CSNI in the BKISC and the 4th XI round out the fixtures with a trip to Malahide.