There was a mixed bag this last weekend as Phoenix had some highs and lows throughout the grades. The Youth Section had a great weekend with three wins out of three. The 1st XI went 50/50 in their weekend double header. The 5th XI suffered a third league defeat after their batting misfired again. The 2nd XI suffered a washout on Sunday and the 3rd and 4th XI had a weekend off.
Saturday June 2nd – Division 2 – Rush v Phoenix 1st XI
The 1st XI made the trip out to Kenure with good memories after a great win in the BKISC earlier in the season. There was to be no repeat this time, though, as the game ended in unsatisfactory circumstances for the visitors.
Phoenix welcomed Rory Flanagan back to the fold and he did not disappoint with the ball as he ended with figures of 8-0-35-3. However Rush made the most of home advantage and managed to pile up the runs thanks in large part to Gull and Iqbal who posted 81 a piece. Osama Khan and Conor Kelly bagged a brace each but Rush piled 289 from their 50 overs.
The game restarted with rain in the air but Phoenix made inroads into their target. Flanagan went early but Phoenix rebuilt with McKay and Ali. McKay went for 40 but Phoenix were well up with the rate. After 28 overs Phoenix were ahead on D/L. However at the end of the 29th they were taken off by the umpires 3 runs behind on D/L. There was to be no more action that day and Syed Ali’s unbeaten 64 was in vain as Rush claimed the win.
It was a tough way to lose their first game of the league campaign but they had a chance to get back on track just two days later.
Phoenix lost by 3 runs on D/L
Monday June 4th – Division 12 – Old Belvedere -v- Phoenix 5th XI
The 5th XI made the short trip to face Old Belvedere on Bank Holiday Monday looking to bounce back from a narrow two run defeat to Dundalk in their previous league out. While conditions on the day were fine the rain in the previous days had taken it’s toll on the pitch and runs were likely to be hard to come by.
Phoenix fielded first and started off well. Gibson-McKenna and Moosavi tied down the top of the order with some really tight bowling. However it was first change, Pajo McKinney, who made the breakthrough when he was introduced to the fray. McClean followed that up with another wicket soon after and Craig Nicholson further dented the home side with a great run out from Deep Square Leg.
John Anders came into the attack and picked up another couple of wickets as is his usual MO. Craig Nicholson picked up where he left off with another fine bowling display that was rewarded with a wicket when John Anders claimed a catch at the second bite.
With the hosts penned back the opening bowlers were reintroduced and they did the trick. Marc Gibson-McKenna got much more turn at the second time of asking and picked up three wickets in short order. He finished with figures of 6-3-5-3. Aalishan Moosavi then nipped out the last wicket, no less than his bowling deserved, finishing with 6.4-4-5-1. Phoenix had bowled and fielded superbly well all day and restricted the hosts to 86 all out.
It was a chase Phoenix should have been well able of making but they were to come up well short. The top of the order never got going and the 5th XI were reduced to 31 for 6. Very few of the Phoenix batsmen got going with only Anders, Leeuwenberg and Moore spending any time at the crease.
The big Dutchman notched up 11 before falling lbw to a ball that kept very low. Phoenix did their best to wag the tail but the three Mc’s only added 6 runs between them as McDonough, McKinney and McClean came and went. Moosavi and Moore added a partnership of 14 for the last wicket but Moosavi fell off and inside edge. Moore ended unbeaten on 14 but Phoenix were 22 runs short of their total with 62 balls of the innings remaining.
Things will not get any easier this week as they entertain a Laois team that has won 4 from 4 in Division 11.
Phoenix lost by 22 runs
Monday June 4th – Division 12 – Phoenix 5th XI -v- Cork County
The First XI got about the task of erasing the disappointment of their defeat to Rush as they entertained Cork County on Monday. Batting first the home side got themselves into a little trouble at the top of the order but a partnership of 54 between McKay (31) taking their side to 93 for 4.
However there was another wobble as two wickets fell in quick succession before Steenkamp and Anders came together as the 1st XI began to rebuild for a second time. Anders made a gritty 37 from 72 deliveries while at the other end Steenkamp notched up his first half century for the club notching 55. In the end Phoenix couldn’t bat their overs but they posted a challenging total of 210.
The visitors never got going in their reply. Steenkamp struck early before skipper Conor Kelly decided to put himself into the action. Kelly made the difference as he mopped up four wickets, including being on a hat trick at one stage, as his side powered towards victory.
In the end Phoenix got the job done without Cork making triple figures. Raza and Lunson chipped in with wickets at the end. The 1st XI now have a week off before their Leinster Cup clash with Pembroke in the park on the 16th.
Phoenix won by 112 runs
Meanwhile the under 11 C team beat The Hills by 32 runs on Saturday and followed it up with a 4 runs win against Old Belvedere in the Cup on Sunday.
The under 13 A team also had success as they saw off Malahide by 21 runs in the park on Saturday.
This weekend sees the 4th XI begin the defence of their Intermediate Cup title in Pembroke on Saturday. The 4th XI have claimed back to back Intermediate Cup titles and will be hopeful of completing the hat trick. The 2nd XI have a Division 4 weekend double header. They are at home to Malahide in the park on Saturday before going to North Kildare the following day. The 5th XI entertain Laois for the second season running in the Junior Cup.