19 June 2022
The Cork County Cricket Club’s players and officers were very welcome visitors to The Vineyard on Sunday for the second -round Irish Senior Cup clash against The Hills. The Hills won the toss, batted first, and lost a wicket with only 8 runs on the board, but Cormac McLoughlin-Gavin (68) and Athar Farooqi (27) overcame this set-back and combined for a commendable partnership of 74 runs which ended when Farooqi was victim of an unusual dismissal – hit his own wicket. McLoughlin-Gavin and Mark Donegan brought the score up to 150 runs, and it was evident that Cork County would be chasing a very big score. Mark Donegan batted brilliantly for his maiden senior century, and at the close of The Hills’ innings, he was 127*. Until very recently, centuries for Hills’ players were a rare commodity, but already this season, five centuries have been scored, and it is heartening to see that the players no longer have a mindset that a “good” 30 or 40 runs is a satisfactory return for their innings. Levon Shields (24) and Bhavesh Lakhotia (24) also contributed to The Hills’ innings total of 293 runs for 6 wickets.
At a very pleasant ceremony during the interval between innings, Mortimer Kelleher, President of Cork County CC, thanked The Hills Cricket Club for the warmth of its welcome, congratulated The Hills’ Catering Committee on the excellence of the “teas”, especially the scones which were made by a lady from Douglas, and he presented The Hills with a framed photograph of the great Sir Garfield Sobers. Bobby Swarbrigg, President-Elect of The Hills CC, thanked Mortimer Kelleher for his kind words, and he reciprocated by presenting a Hills 50th Anniversary Tie and a book. David Griffin, President of Cricket Ireland, was present at the game, and he also received a tie to mark his visit to The Vineyard.
Cork County made a steady start to its innings, and first wicket did not fall until the score was 31 runs, but another wicket fell after only 1 more run had been added with the result that Cork County was on the back foot with two of its more able batsmen (Ross Durity and Cormac Hassett) dismissed. Unlike the previous day when The Hills’ fielding fell below its usual high standards, on this occasion, the fielding was superb. Cormac McLoughlin took a smart catch at slip, Athar Farooqi had a caught and bowled, and Dylan Blignaut took two tremendous catches. Athar Farooqi was the bowling star on the day, with 5 wickets for 16 runs, while Tomás Rooney-Murphy, Matthew Weldon, Asad Farooqi and Bhavesh Lakhotia took one wicket each. Cork County’s final score was 88 runs, and that gave The Hills a victory margin of 205 runs.
It was heartening for The Hills to have a positive result after the defeat on Saturday, and it can now hope for a favourable draw in the next round of the Irish Senior Cup. It’s back to league action on Saturday next when The Hills will visit YMCA at Claremont Road. Until then, its onwards and upwards.