Hills 'double' ambitions run into difficulty
What could have been a memorable weekend for Fingal cricket turned into a damp squib as Malahide's National Cup decider was rained off and Waringstown defeated The Hills by four wickets in the Irish Senior Cup Final.
That loss for the Skerries men came on the same day as their quest for the Leinster League title was scuppered as results elsewhere went against them.
They were bidding for a third Senior Cup success in their history at Bready in County Tyrone on Saturday, as their normally rock-solid battling let them down against their Down opponents Waringstown.
It proved to be a disappointing weekend all round for John Wills' side as news filtered through following their loss that Leinster had beaten North County to end their hopes of a final-day showdown with Clontarf for league honours.
In the end this will be a season of what could have been for The Hills, although they did manage to claim a Leinster Senior Cup to add to their trophy collection.
Before the match Wills had stated that as long as The Hills played to their best he was quietly confident that they would have too much for Waringstown.
As it happened, the County Down side came out best in the first battle of the day, winning the toss, and decided to put their opponents into bat.
The usually rock-solid Cormac McLoughlin Gavin managed to score just five runs before he was bowled by Shaheen Khan in the sixth over to give first blood to Waringstown. Khan struck again in the 12th over as his pacy delivery outfoxed Sean Terry, with The Hills' man edging to Marcus McClean.
A very welcome 40 from Mark Donegan helped steady The Hills' ship and with bi-hitting Max Sorensen and Albert Van der Merwe still to bat all was not lost. However, Van der Merwe managed just 11 before he was caught and bowled by Kyle McCallan and shortly afterwards Ryan Cartwright left the field having scored just 3, leaving The Hills in a precarious position with 112-6 on the scoreboard.
Sorensen has dug The Hills out of many a hole this season with some huge scores and if ever his side needed him to produce his magic, this was the day.
He began well with a boundary in his first over, but in the meantime he was quickly running out of partners as Rooney-Murphy, Shoukat and Ali all went cheaply to leave Luke Clinton and Sorensen as the last men standing for The Hills.
Sorensen hit his first six of the day to reach 24, but in the same over Gary Kidd dismissed Luke Clinton to leave The Hills with a total of just 135.
In reply, Waringstown brought up 50 with the minimum of fuss.
Yaqoob Ali gave The Hills hope with four wickets in the space of 10 overs - 93-4 - and when Ryan Cartwright got rid of Shaheen Khan and Marcus McLean suddenly Waringstown were struggling on 93-6. However, the experienced Greg Thompson and Kyle McCallan kept their cool and steered Waringstown to a famous victory as they won a record equalling fifth Senior title.