28 July Newsletter
Sharpy’s Golden Oldies
It was the best of games, it was the worst of games – mainly the latter for the Pembroke Crocks. We played on grass (insert drug joke of choice here) as Dale wanted the Alan Murray wicket to get a proper workout (what was he thinking, did he not see our teamsheet?). Sharpy won the toss – and that’s pretty much it. Opening with Bill the Bowler, YM got off to a nice, sedate start with just the three boundaries from the over. The Pembroke fielders creaked and groaned like a bunch of extras in a particularly bad episode of The Addams Family. The highlight, apart from Daggers three attempts to take a high catch (it didn’t happen), was Toomers getting a stumping, albeit in extreme slow motion – normally the replay follows the event rather than running concurrently. Chasing a total of 125 in 18 overs Pembroke started slower than a sloth swimming in treacle with Ed actually outscoring Sharpy.
Once the pain was over we retired to the Ganley Room while Sharpy and Ed sorted out the Man of the Match award (clue – it wasn’t a Pembroke batter), eventually they alighted on James Fitzgerald for his first over assault on Bill and 3 wickets from two overs for 22 runs – the two overs lasted longer than most of our batting with 3 runs off the bat and the rest in wides. James obviously felt sorry for Dale as he bowled on the adjacent pitch to save wear and tear on the Cup Final one. Johnny Garth made a case for Webby to get the award with two runs from his 15 balls faced (the limit for each batter) as he reckoned it contributed most to the YM cause. Dale came back to make sure we had put the covers on properly (we hadn’t) and after that performance we’ll be lucky to be on the Junior pitch next year.
Alan Murray Finals Day
Pembroke was at its spic and span best on Saturday morning after the revels of Friday night as the Finals Day came home. Heatley Tector and Niall Walsh made sure we were plugged in for the livestream service, Craig took on the PA duties as Ciara did the social media updates – it’s a long way from phoning in results and sending telegraphs or even carrier pigeons.
Playing at 10.30am against Merrion (the last time our 1sts played this early was when they were Under 13s) we won the toss and batted first. Theo led the way with yet another 50 backed by Andy with 44 and Hoppo with a quick 20. A total of 144 seemed a little low but Merrion never got a chance to settle and some great fielding and tight bowling saw them all out for 110. Hoppo with 4 wickets, Paul with 2, Fiachra and Jack with 1 each and Jack getting 2 run-outs put us in the Final. The other semi-final was a one-sided event with Clontarf making 165 and winning by 29 runs as The Hills didn’t seem that bothered chasing, apart from Sean Terry – they must have had a big night of duelling banjos planned in the Vineyard.
Clontarf chose to bat first in the final and set off in a hurry, reaching 82 for 2 from 9 overs – one of these wickets was a direct hit run-out by Club Coach Conor from backward point. Some tight bowling from Jack (3 wickets for 16 from 4 overs – amazing figures) and great fielding from Hoppo with a direct hit and a stunning low catch at long on restricted Clontarf to 149. Our reply started well with Theo and Andy adding 55 before Theo was stumped. Lorcan joined Andy for another good partnership with Andy getting a well worked 50. But when these two fell close together scoring became a lot harder in the last 8 overs of the innings – a common occurrence in all three games – and we ended up an agonising 4 runs short. Speaking objectively (ed: yeah, right) Pembroke were the outstanding team in the field all day – in particular our slow bowling and fielding were of the highest class. We also had the best opening partnership over the three games. Winning the toss and batting first seemed to be the key to winning on the day.
I know I sometimes (!) can be a touch sarcastic to some of our teams/players in these newsletters but I can honestly say that I could not be more proud of the way Paul and his team played on Saturday and conducted themselves afterwards. Handing the man-of-the-match award to a Clontarf player was heart-breaking enough without having to listen to the Clontarf captain and his unbelievably insensitive speech (the “other team”, really?). It seems that winning trophies doesn’t make you gracious or humble, who knew?
As a club we should cherish these moments, even in defeat. We have an extremely talented group of young men and women in the club at the moment playing some enthralling cricket. We may, sometimes, be victims of our own success with some of these players missing due to representative honours but the fact that the club keeps producing such talent should be supported and applauded. It is only a matter of time before these skilled cricketers win trophies and it is a pleasure to be able to watch them go about their business each game and we should all be proud of how we help facilitate this talent, on and off the pitch. We are a great club, in every sense although we’re not perfect yet.
Meanwhile to illustrate the point, the Men’s 3rds were in Merrion in their cup semi-final. It didn’t go well. The highlight was the 60 kilometres travelled by one of our players as he got the venue mixed up – that is some taxi journey and I hope his parents are very understanding.
The U11C team took a jaunt to Carlow on Sunday morning and came back with a well deserved win. Many thanks to the parents who got up very early to transport the team, your dedication is to be applauded and Becca will give you extra cake this Sunday!
The Furious (Famous? Filthy? Fabulous? – do we need a new nickname?) Fives teed off in Druid’s Glen against Greystones the same afternoon. Donncha Tucker received his senior cap and was sent out to win the toss, which he did and he decided to bat. Marcus Beale was welcomed back from a year’s sabbatical with the openers slot and I had the easy job of watching him from the other end as he soon started dispatching the ball to the rope. Grahame Mooney came in when I had enough and the pair put on a century stand before Beale was out on 87 and Mooney on 42. Oskar and Rafi put on some quick runs for a team total of 202. After a belter of a tea – the best we’ve had for a long time – some tight bowling from Vulker and Noah (1 wicket each) and even tighter from Jimmy Cresswell (3 for 13 with a nice stumping from Craig) put a dent in the Greystones innings before Donncha came on and took his first senior wicket (each Tucker seems to be even better than the one before).Oskar turned the ball sideways for 2 wickets before Rafi took his village honours (bowling his mate with a very quick ball) with a wicket and a stunning run out.
In contrasting games against Clontarf the Men’s 2nds had a very comfortable win on the wrong side of the Bay, with Sanil hitting a brilliant 125 and Andy ‘Lenny’ Leonard picking up 5 wickets. Meanwhile the 4ths had a narrow loss by 19 runs at home, despite Viran following up 3 wickets with 60 not out.
The U13 Boys spent Tuesday evening in Phoenix and came away with a well worked win. Sean O’Riain was the pick of the bowlers while Paddy and Noah hit most of the runs. However, not such a good evening for our Ladies 1sts in their cup semi-final in The Hills losing by 5 wickets on a low and slow wicket. But they followed that up on Thursday with a comprehensive win over Leinster by 9 wickets – Kim unbeaten on 43 while Orla P scored 34 chasing down a Duckworth-Lewis revised total of 96 in 17 overs.
Big game for the Ladies 2nds as they travel up the Simmonscourt Road to face Merrion in the Junior Cup Final this evening at 5pm, your support as ever is welcomed.
Tomorrow the Men’s 3rds host Leinster. On Sunday the U13 Boys travel to face the Russians while the Men’s 2nds are home to Merrion. On the same day our Ladies 1sts play their first 50 game of the season in Merrion.
On Monday the Girls U15s travel to The Hills for a cup semi-final. On Wednesday the Men’s 4ths travel to Clontarf for a refixed league game.
Many congratulations to all our representative cricketers who are very busy this week. Some highlights – LouLou in the wickets for Ireland U17s against Scotland in their games in Oakhill, while Orla P hit a magnificent unbeaten century in the same series and then followed that with a 5 wicket haul! Orla is showing the same run scoring form as Theo this season and it can’t be long before she gets a full cap.
Josh and JJ are in action for the Ireland (Boys) U19s in Jersey where they helped win what looked like a cracking game yesterday against Scotland in the World Cup qualifiers. Meanwhile, Sanil hit another century this week for Leinster U17 against Munster in Cork.
A reminder that I’m taking names for the bus to Waringstown on 12 August and for our lunch on 19 August – contact me on 087 636 96 36 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Craig is looking for your photos for our Awards Night on 9 September – put them on a usb stick and hand them over – see Ashley’s photo above for inspiration.
As ever, all our teams need support and encouragement so do your best to get out and watch some cricket this weekend.