For the second weekend in a row, the atmosphere at a cricket ground was more
akin to a carnival than a sports venue, and the palpable sense of joy among
players and spectators at being either involved or present at a cricket match
was pervasive. Even a one-way traffic control system on the North Circular Road
and cones located all over Chesterfield Avenue could not dampen the spirit of
goodwill which was complemented by beautiful sunshine and a cloudless sky.
(That’s enough padding, give a report on the game, Ed.!).
The Hills won the toss and opted to field first. Last week, the alarm
occurred in the first over of the Hills’ batting, but on this occasion, there was a
concern in the first over of the bowling when Tomás Rooney-Murphy pulled up
with what appeared to be a strained groin. He managed in some discomfort to
complete the over, but it was obvious that he would not be able to bowl any
more in this game. The Phoenix openers, Grassi and McDonough, were
proceeding very sedately until the third over when McDonough fell to a
magnificent catch by Levon Shields off the bowling of Dylan Blignaut. Luke
Clinton replaced Tomás at the Pasley End, and he bowled superbly. Jamie Grassi,
the former North County player, was clean bowled by Luke when the score was
35, and Luke’s figures for his spell were 4 overs, 1 maiden, 1 wicket for 7 runs.
The next wicket to fall was that of Adam Chester, caught by Mark Donegan off
the bowling of Jonathan Tall.
With George Dockrell self-isolating, there was a lot of pressure on Tyrone Kane, and he responded brilliantly by scoring 82 runs off 40 balls. In the 14 th over, 24 runs were scored, and the pessimistic Hills’
supporters were hoping that the team would not have to chase any more than
160 runs. Over the years, spin bowling has been the bane of Fingal cricketers,
but on this occasion, it was its salvation because Sameer Dutt took the all-
important wicket of Kane thanks to a very smart catch by Mark Donegan, and
Sameer followed this up with a catch off his own bowling to take the wicket of
James Maginnis. Killian Everard took the wicket of Aaron Cawley, caught by
Luke Clinton, and Phoenix had collapsed from 125 runs in the 17 th over to 137
runs for 6 wickets.
With clubhouses out of bounds, the Hills’ external catering department
(Helen Farrell and Michael Dwyer) rose to the occasion, and a magnificent
repast was enjoyed by the multitudes during the break between innings. The
Hills’ reply to the Phoenix total was measured and calm, with the first wicket,
Cormac McLoughlin-Gavin (11) falling to a wonderful catch by Stephen Moreton,
off the bowling of Aaron Cawley when the score stood at 30. Levon Shields continued his rich vein of form and with Murray Commins brought the score up to 70 runs when he was out on the last ball of the 8th over. Mark Donegan (37) and Murray Commins (37) batted superbly, and the required target was achieved in the 17th over.
This was a very professional performance by a highly motivated, well-managed team. The bowling unit continues to impress, and the batting looks to be very solid. Next week, Trinity College visit the Vineyard, and all home
supporters hope that the team can finish unbeaten in the first series of games.
Until then, it is onwards and upwards.