- Written by Paul Reynolds
- Category: Boys
- Hits: 292
The Pakistan Ladies Team were training in Rush and the game was umpired by their coach Basit Ali who made 69 appearances for Pakistan. (Thanks to Cillian McDonnell)
- Written by Paul Delany
- Category: Boys
- Hits: 270
The U15s provincial tournament takes place in Dublin this week and Lcc have both Conor and Eamonne playing and on the Southern side Finn Connaty makes his debut.
The Leinster Provincial U17s will play North West on Sunday away and Gareth Delany will be the sole Lcc player on the team. A win would see Leinster take the title as they have already beaten NCU.
Best of luck to all during the week
- Written by Hugh Mullen
- Category: Boys
- Hits: 440
A 5am meeting time at Dublin Airport saw the 12 players, team manager (Declan O’Brien) and coaches (“statto” Paul Byrne & “Dr. Zen psychologist” Kevin Warren) arrive at Dublin Airport in semi-darkness, and in some cases, semi-consciousness, given the early start!
On arrival in Liverpool, we were brought by coach to Edge Hill University, with its wonderful facilities, (and incredible value for money restaurant facilities!) before walking down to the Cricket club in hot temperatures at midday. Ormskirk cricket club has been in existence for 177 years. Their cricket square is a “classic” Lancashire pitch, surrounded by a low white wall. A lovely clubhouse flanks the ground, with houses overlooking the square on two sides and a second pitch adjacent to the main pitch. Picturesque and quintessentially English, the magnificent weather added to the picture post-card feeling. However, with serious work to be done, the team were off to the nets for some warm ups!!
Our first game saw us face the Welsh side, Northop Hall. Having batted first, Northop put on 125/6 in a game which swayed to and fro. The heat became a real factor as it wore on but Leinster stuck with to the task. The match eventually came down to Leinster requiring 3 to win off the last ball. A beautifully played legside glance (it wasn’t a lucky edge, ok!!) went past the unfortunate Northop wickie for four and Leinster celebrated wildly on 127/5. One down and three to go!!
After a brief turnaround of only twenty minutes, Leinster faced a very strong Scottish side, which comprised a selection of three clubs from the Ayrshire District, and who would prove a big challenge to Leinster. A combination of the early start in Dublin, the incessant heat, (it got as high as 30 degrees for most of the afternoon!) and back to back matches all contributed to a very challenging task for the boys. However, they fought like tigers in the field, and chased every ball down with a tremendously positive attitude, although for the last 5 overs, they were all out on their feet which ultimately cost LCC. The Scots set a big target of 153/3, which proved to be a step too far on the day, and they ran out winners by 70 runs.
That night, Ormskirk laid on a dinner for players and managers at their clubhouse which was a chance for the players to mix with the other clubs in a less competitive atmosphere. The boys’ behaviour was exemplary and reflected their personal maturity, sense of responsibility and pride in both club and country. A return to the college at 10.20pm was met with delight, rather than disappointment, such was the level of fatigue among all the players. A quiet night for us coaches as well!!
Day two began with a game against Ormskirk and, in line with all Ireland Vs. England matches; a sense of great excitement was evident among all the boys, despite the 9.30am start. Leinster batted first and set a target of 127/2. Would it be enough? The English side, having lost some early wickets, battled back desperately to avoid a whitewash, and incredibly this match came down to the last ball once again, this time with the English side requiring a four to win on 124/7. Fortune once again shone on Leinster, and Ormskirk could only collect a single, leaving Leinster with two wins from their 3 group matches.
There followed a very surprising win by the Welsh team over the Scottish selection, and with three teams all having won two matches apiece, it came down to Pythagoras type calculations to see who would play in the Final, and who would play in the 3rd/4thplace play off. Tragically for Leinster, we lost out and it was the Scots and the Welsh who would play in the Final, won by the Scots, with the Irish and English teams competing for 3rdand 4th.
Despite the initial disappointment for all the Leinster squad, they regrouped really quickly and showed great maturity and desire in the play-off. There was to be no close finish this time, with the English team being restricted to 104/9 and Leinster reaching 105/2 in 15 overs. Thanks here to Hannah from Ormskirk CC who fielded briefly for us during this match, when our injury list was becoming something like Crumlin Children’s Hospital during a Flu epidemic! Any doubts the boys might have regarding her cricketing ability were dispelled when Hannah fielded one from the long boundary right into the Wickie’s gloves! Fielded!!
There was just time for a medal ceremony, farewells and thanks to everyone involved in running the event, before we hopped back on to the bus and returned to the Airport, via a detour to see the outside of Aintree Racecourse, (across the famous Melling Road etc.). A tired, but happy group of players and management arrived back in Dublin on Tuesday night, along with piles of souvenirs from the trip, safe and (to use a Liverpudlian term here) “sound”!
Overall, there were some super batting, bowling and fielding performances during the four matches, which can be seen in the overall stats. Gareth Delany and Jack Kerrison, two of the oldest members of the squad led from the front with real 20/20 power batting, each with a strike rate of over 100% for the tournament, with Gareth scoring 150 runs (3 retirements). They were ably supported by Eamonn Byrne, Dominic O’Brien and Conor O’Gorman. The bowling was equally very tidy with the fast bowlers, Finn Conaty and Jack Kerrison having an economy of less than 5.0 and the spinners, Eamonn Byrne, Gareth Delany and Conor O’Gorman, having an economy of around 6.0, along with medium paced support from Dominic O’Brien and Jack Fitzgerald. In the field, some sharp fielding from Derry O’Connor and Cian Warren facilitated run outs on a couple of occasions, and there were some great “body on the line” stops from Eoin O’Neill and Ruairi O’Hoisin. Jordan Reynolds, whilst unlucky to be carrying an injury, was equally supportive in the field!
Statistics aside, one of the strongest memories is the sense of collective encouragement and camaraderie among these young teenagers during every game, even when things were going against them at times. Their support for each other in word and deed was something admirable. In short, the boys were great ambassadors for Ireland, for Leinster CC, and for themselves. They all did their best, and nobody can ask any more than that.
There is a hope among all who attended that this tournament will become an annual event, with the location being rotated across the participating countries every year. We certainly echo this sentiment and intend to work towards this becoming a reality.
Finally, we’d like to thank the people of Ormskirk Cricket club for their hospitality and welcome during our stay, our coach driver Peter and the security staff in Edge Hill who came down to support us when off duty! Thanks are also due to the youth section of Leinster Cricket Club for their assistance in arranging the trip, and for sponsoring some of the kit.
Leinster CC U15 travelling squad
Dominic O’Brien (capt)
Team Manager- Declan O’Brien
Coaches – Paul Byrne and Kevin Warren