14 May 2022
Both teams had only a slim possibility of qualifying for the semi-final stages of the Sports Hub Senior League Cup, but momentum is a crucial component in all sports, and with the prestigious Irish Senior Cup games being played next week, the winning team in today’s encounter would have a very valuable confidence boost. For the fourth week in a row, Tomás Rooney-Murphy won the toss, but in a departure from recent practice, he decided that The Hills would bat first. Murray Commins’ wicket fell without a run on the scoreboard, but from that point onwards, The Hills’ batsmen rose to the occasion. Cormac McLoughlin-Gavin celebrated his call-up to the Leinster Lightning squad by having an absolutely superb knock; he faced 145 balls, hit 6 fours, and scored 113 runs. The partnership of Cormac and Andrew Kavanagh put on 137 runs which ended when Andy was out for 56 runs. Mark Donegan (36 runs) picked up the gauntlet, and the next partnership yielded 72 runs. Dylan Blignaut and Bhavesh Lakhotia were dismissed cheaply, and Cormac’s brilliant knock ended on the last ball of the innings when the score was 247 runs with Tomás Rooney-Murphy being the not-out batsman on 14 runs.
Railway Union’s innings had a disastrous start as Dylan Blignaut took a wicket with the second ball of the first over. Dylan who bowled a very hostile spell, then took the second wicket when the score was only 12. Philip Le Roux and Kenny Carroll brought the score up to 37 runs when Le Roux became Blignaut’s third victim. In recent years, Railway Union’s ability to score has depended almost entirely on Kenny Carroll, and he could only watch in dismay as the fourth wicket fell when the score was 49. It was on that score that the pivotal incident of the game occurred when Carroll was out to a magnificent catch by Murray Commins off the bowling of Ashley Bain. Jonathan Tall and Athar Farooqi, the spin twins, then began to weave their magic and the last 6 wickets fell for 19 runs. The bowling honours were shared by Blignaut (3 for 16 off 5 overs), Bain (1 for 13 off 5 overs), Tall had the wonderful figures of 4 wickets for 3 runs, and Athar Farooqi continued to impress with figures of 2 wickets for 7 runs. In complimenting the bowlers, it is important to stress that they were supported by a very fine fielding display; Murray Commins took 3 catches, Mark Donegan had 1 catch and a stumping, Tomás Rooney-Murphy, Cormac McLoughlin-Gavin and Jonathan Tall had 1 catch each.
This was a very complete performance by The Hills, and from the point at which the toss was won to the third ball of the 25th over in the second innings, the team was totally in control of the game. Next weekend, The Hills face a double weekend, with the first assignment being an arduous journey to the North-West when Fox Lodge will be its opponents; it is unfortunate that the team will have to travel back immediately after the game because there is a home match against Trinity College on the following day. Until next weekend, it is onwards and upwards.