In this the fourth series of games in the League Cup, the Hills had an immediate opportunity to avenge last Saturday’s defeat at the hands of Trinity. The Hills won the toss and opted to field first, and this decision was more than justified by a combination of incisive bowling and good fielding. The first Trinity wicket fell to the Blignaut/ Kavanagh combination when the score was only 7. Another wicket fell on the next ball, bowled by Tomás Rooney-Murphy, and caught by Will Archer. At the end of the power play, Trinity’s score was 14 runs for the loss of 2 wickets. A period of consolidation for Trinity followed, and Nicolaas Pretorius (45*) continued his one-man crusade against his former club, during which he played some wonderful shots. Unfortunately for Trinity, wickets fell with great regularity at the other end, and its final score was 96 for the loss of 5 wickets.
The Hills’ bowlers were superb today, with the Captain, Tomás Rooney -Murphy leading the way with 4 hostile overs, during which he took 1 wicket and conceded only 11 runs. Dylan Blignaut bowled 4 overs for 15 runs and took 1 wicket. Sameer Dutt’s figures were 3 overs for 14 and 1 wicket, while Killian Everard continues to improve, and took 1 wicket for 18 runs in his 4 over spell. This bowling performance was complemented by good ground fielding and some fine catches. The Trinity cognoscenti were not too downhearted with their team’s score, and informed the visiting spectators, all five of them, that scores in the 90s were winning totals in College Park.
In reply, the first Hills’ wicket (Cormack McLoughlin-Gavin) fell when the score 21, and the next wicket (Andrew Kavanagh) did not fall until the score was 39. Mark Donegan and Dylan Blignaut (9) brought the score up to 63, and it appeared that the target was going to be achieved with consummate ease, but it never wise to count chickens before they are hatched. Wickets continued to fall, but if Mark Donegan was at the crease, there was no necessity for panic despite the run-rate increasing. When the wily veteran, Conor Hoey, took his 300th wicket for Trinity, and Mark Donegan (43) was out to a catch by D. Hogan off the bowling of Streek in the 19th over, Trinity had high hopes of completing the double over The Hills. In the last over, 7 runs were required for victory and Will Archer played an amazing shot which eluded the wicketkeeper and went for 4 runs Archer was out on the second last ball of the game, and Luke Clinton faced the last ball with one run needed for victory. Luke charged the ball, and it went past the bat and the keeper, so the winning run was a bye.
This was an exciting game, played in a good spirit by two evenly matched teams. Last week, Trinity College took 7 catches; this week, they dropped two straightforward catches, and in the words of the cliché, “catches win matches.” For The Hills, it was a relief to get over the line today. The team’s bowling and fielding continue to impress, but the batting is still brittle. With 3 wins in the League Cup, the team can face its final two matches in the League Cup with confidence, so until next week when The Hills visit near neighbours, North County, it is onwards and upwards.