A few games to report on this week ahead of another weekends action at Phoenix CC- they come around quick and fast!
I haven’t got many reports to date so will have to update you from what I saw or from twitter accounts!
Saturday 6th June Middle Cup Phoenix 3 V Pembroke 3 (HOME)
I was in Phoenix to watch Skipper Morris’s side take on a Pembroke 3 side that had been relegated from Division 4 last year. It was going to be a stiff test. From memory the lineup was Morris, Usman Arshad, Adam Bampfield, The Rock Godwin, Conrad Jones, Syed Shah, Phil and Sean Tomlinson, Akarsh Nalwede, Naeem and Aaron Jospeh. This Phoenix side are very solid in the field which is where they started (I assume Phoenix lost the toss as usual but am open to correction!). Pembroke lost wickets regularly but a bit of resistance at the end got them from 110-8 to 154 all out. Tomlinson and Bampfield had things under control after losing Syed cheaply and when I left we were 82-1 chasing 154. The twitter account started going crazy when I got home as Phoenix started to lose wickets. 82-1 became 91-5 in a couple of overs. An unkind comment on social media compared the Phoenix collapse to an apple crumble as Graham’s men fell agonizingly short (8 runs). A tough day no doubt but they boys are flying in the league and hopefully they can keep up this good work!
Sunday 7th June Mullingar 2 v Phoenix 4 (AWAY)
I have William Clarke’s report on this which after careful legal scrutiny and despite a call for a judicial and independent inquiry (apparently all the retired justices are busy at the moment on state matters!) we publish it below.
Last Sunday, the 4s made their way down the M4 to take on Mullingar.
With a couple of regulars missing (Denis was trying to drink Toner’s dry the night before. Reminds me of my childhood. My dad saw an ad for drink Canada Dry. He gave a good shot to be honest!), Michael Fahy and Bharath Hirve came into the team.
Mullingar won the toss and asked Phoenix to bat first. It was a good decision as the outfield was very heavy underfoot following the previous day’s rain.
Raj and Lineesh ‘Boycott’ Ramachandran got off to a watchful start. Raj was first to go when he guided a ball to the fielder at point. Adam join Lineesh and they continued to build the innings. A 61 run partnership help Phoenix to 83 before Adam was bowled for 37.
A middle order collapse saw Michael Fahy, Akarsh, Bharath and Grant depart for a total of 10 runs.
Lineesh fall for 27 with the score on 114.
With overs running out, a bit of push was needed. This was provided by John Anders who added 20 to the total. Kearns (5*) and Clarke (10) added some valuable runs as Phoenix were bowled out for 143 with 4 balls remaining.
After a lovely tea of chicken curry, rice, crisps and yes, tea, Phoenix took to the field.
For once, the bowling department looked a little light compared to other weeks.
Clarke and Kearns opened the bowling. Tight bowling, attacking fields and wickets were the instructions from El Capitano Anders. The openers bowled their quota of 9 overs straight through. Clarke finished with 3 for 37. Kearns finished with 2 for 23. This reduced Mullingar to 63 for 5. A great effort by the bowlers who were backed up in the field with great catches by Lineesh and Akarsh.
With the opening bowlers done, Anders and Bampfield took up the challenge. They kept up the pressure on the batsmen who were finding runs hard to come by. Anders finished with 2 for 15 off his 8.2 overs. Bampfield finished with 2 for 23 off his 8 overs. The final wicket was a run out thanks to an ‘excellent’ throw (roll of the ball) from the boundary by Nathan. Grant did the rest.
This was an excellent all round performance. The batsmen grinded out the runs on a tricky mat and soft outfield. The bowlers bowled consistent lines and lengths. (Only 10 wides some of which were a tad harsh). The fielding was top class. Lineesh, Akarsh, Michael McDonough and John all held catches in the field. Clarke and Anders both took a caught and bowled.
A big thank you to Mullingar. The game was played in a great spirit.
Next up for the 4s is a trip to Rathdrum (M11) to play the wandering minstrels of Greystones in the cup.
Team: John Anders (c), Grant White (wk), Raj Gopal, Lineesh Ramachandran, Adam Bampfield (awarded Man of the Match by Mullingar), Michael Fahy, Akarsh Nalawade, Bharath Hirve, Michael McDonough, Nathan Kearns, William Clarke
Sunday 7th June Clontarf 2 v Phoenix 2 (AWAY)
With about 6 players missing due to exams and other excuses Vish took the side to meet a strong Clontarf 3 side. Things were so bad that the Stella Downes nearly choked when she realised that the A Chester on the scorecard was not skipper Adam but Admiral Chester making his return to a seconds side 25 years to the day after featuring for Malahide 2nd XI. The tears were bravely held back however as Vish won the toss and on a beautiful Castle Avenue afternoon decided to bat first. Naeem and Syed opened the batting but were soon back. The batting was not up to par as the partnerships statistics show clearly.1-11(N Shahzad) 2-13(S Mehdi Shah) 3-34(T Anders) 4-43(D Ford) 5-57(M Gregg) 6-90(J Wardell) 7-94(V Vaidyanathan) 8-99(G Millar) 9-110(Chris Cavanagh). Safraz was last man out leaving the Admiral stranded on 1 not out (although I can’t saw I saw many of the deliveries bowled to me…a small thanks to Mark Collier for bowling me a full toss that I got to long off for a single-very generous!)
Chasing 112 Clontarf batted sensibly and the ultimate embarrassment wasn’t too ling in coming when the captains agreed to forego tea until the runs were scored. Thomas, Chris, Gordy and Safraz tried manfully but where the Clontarf bowlers made the ball move, seam and spin our bowlers just didn’t have the runs to work with to create any kind of scoreboard pressure. Clontarf eased home by 9 wickets. It was a poor performance but there were players missing and they will return in the weeks ahead. At the time of writing the 2nds are 2nd in a very tight Division 3 (4 points behind the leaders) but only 21 points cover 2nd to 7th, While batsmen need to look at how they applied themselves on a good pitch that’s always a bit too soft a complaint- this seconds group have always considered themselves a team, they have enough good players and are better than this performance- they make the trip to Laois this weekend hoping to get back to winning ways. Skipper Chester is back along with a couple of others and hopefully the group will gather around and get the performances back up! (The Admiral was unsurprisingly dropped after his effort??)
Sunday 7th June Phoenix 6 V Clontarf 6 (HOME)
In the park meanwhile Prez Brown deputized for Skipper Black (or as he likes to call himself now Mike Denness?). The team was Stephen Black, Michael Brown, Alan Maginnis, Emmet Staunton,Liam Keating, Paddy Keating, Evan Chester, Theo Dempsey, James Maginnis, Adam Gibson MCKenna and making another comeback from retirement Colm Byrne.
Clontarf won the toss and opted to bat first. Collie and Theo opened and it wasn’t long before the Clontarf opener stopped laughing at the sight of Byrne racing up to the wicket. Collie bowled Kilbride with a ball that just held its line (yawn!) and had the stumps cartwheeling out of the ground (that’s the version Collie would like mentioned anyway!) Nonetheless Collie and Theo pinned Clontarf back with some good tight bowling and when Collie removed the other opener Clontarf were 25-2. James came on next and got a wicket almost immediately. Clontarf put on a small stand of 33 before Adam got a wicket with a nice twirler to have the batting side 58-4. Liam Keating got a wicket but Theo came on for another spell and blew Clontarf away with a 5 wicket haul to leave them all out for 106 off just 31 overs.
The great effort with the ball was now handed over to the batting and Alan Maginnis and Stephen Black went out to get the innings under way. Alan duly ran out Stephen without scoring (that s what I was told to say!) and when Emmet was out for 3 the score was 19-2. Liam Keating scored a brisk 10 runs but was out when Phoenix reached 31.Alan was finding conditions tricky and scoring very slowly and finally got frustrated scoring 20 of 30 balls to leave Phoenix on 74-6. Getting to 74-6 was down to some sold batting from James (14) and Theo (9). Evan Chester came to the crease next and with the Prez at the other end decided (as the modern player does these days!) that good balls would be defended but anything loose was going to be punished. Dealing in boundaries Evan hit some cracking shots including the Prez’s favourite cover drive to score 33 not out off just 20 balls. Michael was not out for 10 off 30 balls as Phoenix reached their target with 4 wickets remaining. A good win no doubt with some good performances from the boys- very encouraging stuff as these boys start to get a little older! While obviously Theo gets the plaudits for getting 5 wickets Phoenix were wobbling at 74-6 (We haven’t seen Collie bat for a while and don’t intend to yet!) but Evan put some good practice work into action as he batted very positively to get Phoenix a valuable Division 15 win!
Tuesday 9th June Alan Murray – T20 Phoenix 1 v The Hills (HOME)
The continued issue of player unavailability meant that T20 skipper Thomas Anders didn’t have a full deck to deal when the 1st XI took on The Hills in The Park on Tuesday night. I don’t have all the details to hand but Matt Scott was the only bat to cling to his wicket with a score of 24 as Phoenix only posted 90-9 off their 20 overs. This was never going to be enough as The Hills got to 91 in the 16th over having lost just two wickets. (A good caught and bowled by both Sam and Gordy!)