So a round-up of results for the past week or so- I’m away at the moment so some reports are still coming in and no doubt I’ll hear from Willie Clarke for reasons which will be completely obvious when you see the brief (Thank God!) summary of the 4th XI match at the weekend
Saturday 20th June Division 2 1st X1 v Leinster at Rathmines
Thanks to Conor Dillon for this report.
After what seemed like a long run of home games outside the 20;20 format Phoenix travelled to Observatory Lane to take on Leinster. The teams emerged with honours even in 2014 with both sides winning the away game. Leinster were set a tricky target of 260 in the Phoenix Park after Peterson made a century but they achieved a comfortable win by eight wickets. With Matt Lunson perhaps raising the team’s average age by 2 years Phoenix were demonstrating their youth policy with Thomas Anders, Rory Anders, Ian Anders, Adam Chester, Ben White and Eoin Cleere all lining out accompanied by stand-in captain Sam Anderson, wicket keeper Alastair Taylor, M D Masud Ahmed and Matt Scott. Anderson won the toss and elected to bat.
Masud was a bit more low key than usual and he contributed just 5 to the opening stand of 27 before perishing to Joe Carroll. A good stand between Taylor and Anderson took Phoenix to 98 for 1 before Taylor fell victim to Ritchie and went for 46. Rory Anders had an off day and Thomas made 11 but Scott showed some good concentration and he stayed for the rest of the innings after coming in when Anderson was out for 62. Chester, White, Cleere, Ian Anders and Lunson all had a spell as partner for Scott with the Briton falling for 57 and Lunson undefeated on 6 as the innings closed two balls early on 248 all out.
The host club’s opening batsmen both fell for 6 – in Forrest’s case it was 5 years since his marathon knock for Clontarf at Phoenix. The new ball pair of Thomas Anders and Sam Anderson took one each. Scott was taken out of the attack after 2 overs cost 13 and although Rory Anders followed his elder brother with a first spell of 5 overs Captain Anderson placed a lot of faith in the spin options open to him with Ben White given a full allocation of 10 overs, Lunson got 9 and Masud Ahmed got 5. Richie was the third wicket to fall with Chester taking the catch as Rory Anders bagged a scalp and the home professional had to withdraw from the fray for a period and he came back in when the seventh wicket fell. White’s spell of 10 overs ended with 2-33 while Lunson had 3-32 for his 9 overs. Phoenix were in control from an early stage of the home innings but a last wicket stand of 49 meant Leinster salvaged a couple of bonus points before Rory Anders finished the game by having Carroll caught by Masud. Phoenix won by 62 runs.
Man of the match A good team effort with 3 batsmen exceeding 40 and the wickets shared around
PS:- Conor has failed to mention the high standard Phoenix set in the field- some of the catches taken were probably as good as you will see especially in the slips- catches win matches and holding the difficult chances made Leinster’s chances more difficult! That’s the standard we want to see from our 1st XI- hopefully it will continue!
Saturday 20th June Minor Cup 5th X1 V Laois 3 at Phoenix Park
All sides in Phoenix have failed to win a cup game this year and the last sides were the 5ths and 6ths to take up this onerous challenge. Doc Shazad Ahmad led the side and had no hesitation in deciding to bat!.Mooney and Hashmi were the openers. Despite getting (pleading) advice to go and score runs Hashmi decided attack was the best option and took an unmerciful swipe at his first ball and was caught easily at mid-on! James McDonagh was unlucky as he fell 3 balls later to leave Phoenix on 4-2 after 2 overs. The Doc came in at 4 and batted sensibly with Graham Mooney getting the side to 44-2 after 15 overs. When the Doc fell he was replaced by Akarsh who batted well until he holed out at square leg. Younas was promoted from number 11 to number 5 but never got going. Mooney kept plugging away at his end but couldnt keep going and was bowled off a long hop for 32. A good innings but needed to keep going (perhaps he was distracted by thoughts of the karaoke session later that night!!) Evan Chester and the Admiral came in at 7 and 8 with only a few overs but the score was 68-6 at that stage. Evan scored 8 and when Mick McDonagh was bowled through the gate for 0 Phoenix were struggling to bat the overs. A solid if unspectacular (my words!) 24 from the Admiral and dogged resistance from Louis got Phoenix to 120-9 after 40 overs.
With a low score to defend it was vital that Phoenix bowlers bowled full and straight and hunt for wickets- regrettably none of them could do this. Younas did a get a fine wicket early up by couldn’t get going. Zaheer bowled a couple of expensive overs. James Mc Donagh bowled brightly and with a bit of cunning and got a deserved wicket but everyone else went around the park. Two wickets for Graham Mooney didn’t help and Laois got to 121 in 14.5 overs- beaten before drinks and really just not good enough!
The 5ths have a double weekend this year and some players are really going to have to challenge themselves to perform better not for their sake but out of respect for some of their team mates who gave 100% in another losing cause- Onwards and upwards boys!
Not forgetting the karaoke later that night it was obvious that Sonny and Cher were doomed as it was discovered that Graham sang like Cher while Orlaigh sang like Sonny (sorry luv!)- pictures are available on request! Stick to the batting and bowling Graham like a good lad!
Sunday 21st June Division 3 2nd X1 v Merrion 2 at Merrion
Adam Chesters men travelled for yet another away game and were up against a Merrion2 side that beat our 1st XI last year. With some boys returning from exams Phoenix looked a better side however as we all know in sport looks can be deceiving at times!. Phoenix won the toss and batted and again the batsmen looked totally out of sorts. It wasn’t that they weren’t trying as they all grinded hard but the bowlers were on top early on and when the innings closed with Phoenix all out for 102 the mood wasn’t good. Chair of Cricket Ensors nephew was the pick of the bowlers for Merrion getting 4 wickets! Merrion got there losing only 1 wicket. The 2nds have a break now for a few weeks and once they dust themselves off they will be looking to ramp things up at training to get the season back on track in the 2nd half of the season. They are not out of the league by any stretch as only a 25 point win covers most of the teams in the league- plenty to aim for in July and August!
Sunday 21st June Division 9 4th X1 V Sandyford 2 at Phoenix
Willie Clarke will send in his report for this important league match in due course but the highlights are easy to summarise. Sandyford batted first and obviously didn’t like batting on grass as Kearns and Clarke got stuck into them. Having Conor Dillon as scored obviously had an effect too as Phoenix fielding was excellent in this match taking a lot of catches early on. Sandyford were in the blink of an eye 38-8. I was there and it was hard to believe it happened so fast as some good bowling from Willie and Nathan followed up by #DK29 (Kearney) had Sandyford all over the shop! There was some lower order resistance which improved Sandyford to 80 all out. Willie finished with 7 for 24 to score the provinces best bowling figures of the year so far! His picture celebrating has also featured worldwide since it was tweeted too! (very worrying!)
The Phoenix reply wobbled a bit as Raj, Naeem and others didn’t make the chase a formality. Skipper Anders went in at 4 (yes 4!) and provide the appropriate glue for Evan Chester who continued his good form with the bat. The pair came in at 38-3 with plenty of work to do. Evan got busy straightaway and got the score board moving with some nice shots. It wasnt a chanceless innings but it made sure that the wobble was over as he score 22 in a partnership of 32 with John. Phoenix needed just 9 runs when Evan was out and Anders and James McDonagh got the side over the line easily- a great win setup by the bowlers but good to see some younger players (not you Denis you’re 29!) featuring too!
Sunday 21st June Minor 2 Cup 6th X1 V Carlow 1 at Carlow
The 6ths were well beaten down in Carlow – it was a good performance from the team as Carlow 1sts are too good for Div 16 – its their first season but they are probably about 4 or 5 divisions too low.They scored 320+ and their opener got 143 of them. However, we bowled them all out (last over). In response, Niall opened and got his now customary 1st baller, and we let the youngsters bat.
They did very well against some very quick bowling. 3 of the boys Stephen James and Liam getting over 15 runs each.After Alan Maginnis had a bit of fun at the end we ended up with 184 all out with a couple of overs to spare. A Good total against a good team. So despite the weight of the defeat, plenty of positives.