KILKENNY: 147 for 7
P. Blunden 36 Shinith 30 Sala 18 Shyjita 10
P.Carroll 2-0-18-2 M.Coyle 3-0-11-1 J.Kirby 3-0-14-1 R.Hegarty 6-3-19-1 Ahsan 6-0-18-0 D.Drumm 3-0-14-0 G.O’Shea 2-0-12-0 D.Brown 3-0-217-0 A.Williamson 2-0-18-0
D.Drumm 15 D.Brown 3 J.Kirby 2 M.Coyle 1 Extras 8
Shyjith 5-3-3-3 Muiz 5-1-9-3 Vishnu 2-1- 2-3 Ed 3-0-8-1 Shafin 1-0-5-0
If you look at the Mount Juliet website you will see that it proudly says: “Probably the best cricket teas in the world”. Mount Juliet teas are indeed justly famed (though Karen Plewman’s teas for the annual Halverstown v White City game must surely be up there too), but there is a new Kilkenny kid on the block. I wrote earlier in the season of the revival of Kilkenny Cricket Club and if our visit there is anything to go by not only are there very positive signs of a cricket revival but they are setting a new standard in cricket teas that will be hard to surpass. The rain that kept sweeping in in the early part of the game drove us to an early tea- at which point the rain stopped of course. In the recently re-vamped stables area of the imposing Castle Blunden we had a tea of such class that I offered to keep coming back to Kilkenny every week for a game.
For us the tea was the highlight of the day: though we performed well in the field , we performed rather less well with the bat. Kilkenny won the toss and Patrick Blunden opened, scoring a measured 36. His opening partner Sala batted with more abandon but put up a respectable 18. 30 from Shinith held the middle together and their 147 for 7 was a decent score, but better (from our point of view) than the 176 they scored in Harristown. Strike bowlers Ashan and Rob Hegarty bowled well and economically and indeed it was hard to find fault any of our bowling. The pick was Paddy Carroll who, despite being totally new to cricket, took another 2 wickets, giving him 4 this season so far. Rob, Jon Kirby and Michael Coyle all took wickets too, the latter responsible for a run out and all three responsible for some quite brilliant fielding to boot. Worthy of note, too, was Mark Finnegan’s sharpness in the field in his first game of cricket.
Before the game I thought that our batting line-up could do as well as the previous Kilkenny game where we scored 109, though with almost half being scored by the absent Kevin Hodson. Whilst we had a fair sprinkling of beginners we also had some pretty experienced players too. However it was a bloodbath. We managed just 29. I scored over half of them with Extras the second best score. Only four batsmen scored anything at all! The opening bowler Shyjith, was absolutely outstanding: 3 for 3 in 5 overs says everything you need to know. Muiz’ 3 for 9 looked almost pedestrian compared to it; Vishnu’s 3 for 2 wasn’t bad either . Yes it was a humbling experience, but what a tea!