Plenty of games to get through this week ahead of this weekends fixtures and thankfully a couple of reports have been sent in to save me from typing them!
Saturday 30th May Phoenix 1st XI V YMCA 1 (HOME) – Senior Cup
Thanks to Conor Dillon for providing this match report (it will also be listed on the Match reports page)
After beating YMCA 2nd xi the previous weekend Phoenix took on arguably Leinster’s best side in the 60 overs aside cup. Phoenix have not reached the semi final in this competition since 2003. There was a first xi call up for Adam Bampfield and there was a rare appearance for Syed Ali playing as a batsman only. Richie Lawrence won the toss and chose to bat first. The batting order was Alastair Taylor, M D Masud Ahmed, Sam Anderson, Richie Lawrence, Rory Anders, Syed Ali, Thomas Anders, Ben White, Matt Scott, David Ford, Adam Bampfield.
Taylor and Masud batted positively against the young opening bowlers Flanagan and Streek and both had their eye in by the time Ali and Singh were bowling in tandem. The stand had added 133 in 89 minutes by the time Van der Merwe bowled Masud on 76. Taylor went on unperturbed until he and Anderson misjudged a run and the visitors ran Taylor out for 79. Anderson and Lawrence added a further 51 until the younger New Zealander fell for 91. Phoenix needed quick runs at the end of the innings and both Anders reached 20 with Rory out for 24 and Thomas boosting his average with 20 not out.
Needing 328 to win the visitors may have felt they were under scoreboard pressure but the opening pair of Tom Fisher and Jack Tector batted with composure and reached 71 for 0 after 17 overs. There was a breakthrough for Phoenix when Fisher tried to turn a handy single into a quck two and White effected a run out. However, try as they might the Phoenix bowlers struggled to take a wicket and the visitors went on in pursuit of victory. The umpires at one point decided to reduce the visitors’ innings by 5 overs because of a rain delay but rescinded this decision after the weather improved and there seemed to be difficulty across the province with the Duckworth-Lewis calculation. Thomas Anders had Tector caught by Scott to exit on 107 and Singh and Van der Merwe ended undefeated on 125 and 29 respectively as the visitors won by 8 wickets with 11 balls to spare.
Men of the match The top three for both sides did well with Singh the highest scorer
Saturday 30th May Mullingar 1st XI V Phoenix 3rd XI (AWAY) Division 5
This report in from Conrad Jones.
On Saturday 30th May the Threes played yet another away game. This time Mullingar was the venue (St Finians college). The facade matched the weather cold and grey (it is Summer you know!). The team that played were Graham Morris, Aaron Joseph Sayed Mehdi Shah Ian Anders Raja – Sona Gopal Michael Godwin Philip Tomlinson Sean Tomlinson Conrad Jones Usman Arshad and John Anders.Just to make it an ‘Anders’ day special Lesley Anders scored and Sky came along to support. Now those of you who have read my previous posts will know that Skipper Graham Morris is as useful as a chocolate fire guard when it comes to tossing a coin and has won exactly zero of his previous 10 attempts at calling so as a team we where fully expecting to bat with lots of rain around so we where pleasantly surprised when he called correctly and inserted the opposition. Ian Anders and Aaron Joseph took the new ball and bowled really tightly the first 12 overs going for 22 runs and Aaron got both openers with a very good catch from Phillip Tomlinson diving forward and one bowled. Aaron bowled his 9 on the trot and got 2 for 13, Ian was replaced by Usman (Ozzy) and he bowled with good pace and control picking up another couple of wickets courtesy of two catches one from Conrad Jones one by John Anders. Mullingar found the going tough and when Graham Morris took over from Aaron things didn’t improve for them. After 18 overs they were 4 for 42, Mullingar started to build a partnership and got a little more expansive. Ozzy was replaced by Sean Tomlinson and despite a couple of dropped chances no more wickets fell until Sean changed ends in the 36 over. He picked up three quick wickets one bowled ,one Stumped by Jones and one caught by Ian Anders. Despite some attempts at some big shots and some poor fielding towards the end Phoenix restricted Mullingar to 140 for 8. Pretty much as forecast the rain did start but not the heavy stuff light and fair play to the umpires (Connor and Jean Louis) and Mullingar they stayed out.
Sayed and Ian opened however we lost Ian quite early on which bought Raj to the crease and he started to find his touch scoring a quick 20 before Sayed was bowled. Raj followed quite quickly and at 38 for three a rebuilding job was needed, Enter Mike “The Rock” Godwin and Phillip Tomlinson! They mixed caution and aggression and took us from a poor position to a healthy one before Phil tried one big shot too many and fell for 41 and with the score on 108. Runs required meant it was surely a cake walk but when Sean was run out slipping over, Conrad was LBW ,Aaron bowled and then John was bowled it got more anxious! But all the time the rock (yes ladies and gentlemen the rock!) that was Michael Godwin stood firm with a solid 41 not out and all that was left to do was for Ozzy to knock the winning runs (for the second time in two games) .
Phoenix won by two wickets and are now three and 0. Next week we have our first home game of the season and it’s the cup (although originally it was supposed to be away) against Pembroke. This weeks win was based on some excellent bowling dogged fielding and two solid knocks with the bat, roll on Saturday!
Sunday 31st May Phoenix 2 V Laois 1 (HOME) – Senior 2 Cup
After going to the top of the table in Division 3, the 2’s turned their attention to the Senior 2 cup hosting Laois. The match was played under threatening skies and plenty of squally showers but Adam Chester had no hesitation in deciding to bat when he won the toss. The June weekend had played havoc with availability with at least five regulars unavailable but the team was Adam Chester, Sayed Shah, Naeem Shazad, Thomas Anders, Vish V, Matt Gregg, Mike Godwin, Adam Bampfield, Gordy Millar Safraz Ramay and making his debut in the side Evan Chester!
Sayed and Naeem opened the batting and when Naeem played inside a straight ball the score was 26-1. Thomas was next but there was some confusion with the score on 35 and Tom was run out. Vish didnt last long either falling LBW for 4. This brought the ever solid ( not a Rock Mike!) Greggy to the crease. Matt scored 32 of 41 balls and put on 66 with Sayed to get the side to 105-4. There was rain around and after an interuption the match had been reducced to 37 overs. Adam Chester was in next and hit a glorious cover drive and then next over was run out trying to get the score moving (we are waiting on the officials to decide who’s call it was but Adam was a yard short!) Having been at one end of two run outs some batsmane would have folded but Sayed kept going and scored a patient 68 of 112 balls to anchor the Phoenix score. With Adam out somebody woke Godwin up from the hangover he was suffering having celebrated his new found “Rock” status from the day before. Mike was helped out to the middle and lined up in front of the stumps. However someone forgot to tell Mike that the bowler had started his run up and bowled the ball which was a bit unfair. Mike was so late on the shot that he was still pushing forward even though his off stump was flying towards the sight screen! Adam Bampfield didnt last ling and it was left to Gordy Millar to nudge and nurdle 22 excellent runs at the end in a partnership with Sayed of 41. Phoenix were a bitunder par at 165 for 8 off 37 overs.
When Phoenix took to the field there was more rain around and despite a run out from Adam and a good wicket from Safraz Laois were helped by the D/L equation. Phoenix only chance was to bowl Laois out but when the match was reduced to needing to score 47 off 10 overs there simply wasn’t enough time or overs to achieve this. Poor aul Godwin was tasked with wearing the gloves behind the stumps but I think this was an attempt to keep him warm because he didn’t catch anything with them on!
Laois reached their target comfortably enough when Evan Chester did get to bowl the last over conceding a single off his first delivery (never mind Evan- a debuts a debut!!). A tough loss given that we were on the wrong side of the weather but hopefully better days ahead when exams and player availability improve in July and August and perhaps the 2nds will make a push on the Division 3 title!
Monday 1st June Phoenix 4 V The Hills 3 (HOME) Division 9
The Bank holiday storm put paid to this fixture but I can give you two match reports later sent in finally from Willie Clarke.
Thursday 4th June Rush 4 V Phoenix 5/6 (AWAY) Russell Court – T20
The 5ths looked to build on their good win against Mullingar in this competition visiting Rush last night.
Skipper Ahmad opened the batting with Alan Maginnis. The Doc was caught behind off a brutal bouncer for 8 and when Alan was run out for 10 from an excellent pick up and throw Phoenix were in trouble. Ronan Harris went in next and was joined by Aidan Chester. Ronan got frustrated early and was gone for 10 skying the ball to mid on, Akarsh scored 8 and did the same. The Admiral was plodding along looking to anchor the innings hoping someone would come in and get the tempo up but it didnt happen. Younas was in next and never hit the middle of the bat for a quick 17 before standing on his stumps. Louis McDonagh came in next and put bat on ball to score 5 and to somehow get the innings to 106 for 6 off 20 overs- well under par! The Admiral is still looking to get his feet moving this season but was not out for 29 at the end (I can talk you through the slog sweep for 6 into the car park if you like!)
The Rush innings never faltered and despite some good bowling from James Maginnis , Younas and the Doc they got home with a couple of overs to spare. There were a lot of wides in the Rush innings which made putting a bit of pressure on the young batsmen impossible and we had a couple of close shouts for LBW and a dropped catch in the slips (they stick or they dont!) but overall Phoenix were well beaten!
This writer certainly felt a lot older last night facing one U19, five U15 and four U13’s in an exciting Rush side. It was great to see youth cricket flourishing in Rush and it was a great reminder to me of why I’m playing cricket at this stage (and hopefully a reminder to some of the other Phoenix moms and dads too!) . We have lots of promising kids at Phoenix and its only by selecting them and by playing alongside them that we can help them (we are definitely not as good as them!) as they move up through the ranks and leave us behind! Exciting times ahead!
Phoenix 5ths are out of the Russell Court 20-20 competition after this and we need to start performing better with the bat and in the field when the league campaign restarts!