We had been selected to host a new format of the Whelan Cup. Three teams play two matches each and the winner goes through to the next round. The host team play the first and last match and my report will concentrate on that.
We had independent umpires for this tournament. Peter Thew and two of his colleagues stood in the matches. In order for this format to work everything needs to happen on time and Peter is a master of this.
Halverstown v Merrion 6. ~Merrion won by 8 wickets.
Barry is the T20 specialist and he captained the morning session. It was nice to welcome back JP Rust who is steadfastly cheerful despite a difficult time with family illness. We trust that it is behind them and that the nougat business that they have started flourishes. The Oaks were well represented by Des, Cecil and Stuart.
We won the toss and elected to bat. Tim (28) and Barry (17) got us off to an excellent start. Tim has hit a rich vein of form after spending the winter in a strength and conditioning camp and will take off his shirt at the drop of a hat. It is a terrifying sight but shows what can be achieved if you stay away from the mars bars. Barry who is naturally toned is as fresh as a daisy after a season off.
They are both in the business of quick runs, which is essential in T20, and we had 35 runs on the board when the first wicket fell. Unfortunately we couldn’t back that up and the remaining batsmen scored only 31 which together with 18 extras totaled 84.
Merrion had brought down a specialist T20 side and we hadn’t scored enough runs to bowl at. They got the runs in fewer than 10 overs for the loss of 2 wickets.
Merrion 6 v Finglas 1 ~ Merrion won.
Halverstown 1 v Finglas 1 ~ Halverstown won by 59 runs.
We reassembled at 5.30 pm under the captaincy of John Threadgold. The team was slightly different with Umer and Ahsan joining us for the evening session. Both teams had lost and whilst that put Merrion through to the next round there was honour at stake.
We won the toss and elected to bat. It was basically the tale of two Ronno’s. Tim (23) again hit form and Mark (74*) had a magnificent innings. We scored 149 for 5 and Mark carried his bat.
Gunther’s dismissal was one of those strange occurrences. He defended a short ball that went to the keeper who appealed as he dropped the ball. The bail then fell off and because Gunther was standing in front of the stumps we assumed that this was the result of the stiff breeze. Finglas who had been distracted by the dropped ‘catch’ then appealed for hit wicket and the umpire gave it out. There is no suggestion that anybody behaved improperly or in an unsporting fashion but if there had been DRS it might have been different. As Cricket Ireland wouldn’t provide DRS for the recent Test Match we feel that we are unlikely to get it soon.
Umer (3-15) and Kevin (3-18) shared the bowling honours but were backed up by the usual suspects. Neville kept it tight with 2-7. We bowled Finglas out for 90 and won convincingly by 59 runs. Interestingly Finglas gave away 26 extras whilst we conceded 1.
A big thanks to everybody who turned out and a particular mention for Barry who provided a handsome tea for both matches. Peter Thew and his team had a long day but kept us ‘honest’. By and large we thought this was a good format and could be repeated.