Tuesday 28 March 2017

Shannon cuts loose to set up all-UIster Bob Kerr final

CRICKET

There will be no Leinster interest in the final of the Bob Kerr Irish Senior Cup for the first time in seven years after Phoenix crashed to defeat in Belfast in yesterday's semi-final.

In a game of 525 runs and just five wickets, Instonians chased down Phoenix's 262-3 to set up an all-NCU final against Waringstown on September 4.

Phoenix must have thought they had done enough when Dave Langford-Smith (106) and Conor Kelly (75) put on an undefeated 170 for the fourth wicket. Former Ireland paceman Langford-Smith smashed nine sixes and five fours in his 70-ball innings.

But an opening stand of 169 between John Stevenson and Rory McCann set up the Instonians victory, sealed by James Shannon, whose 60 not out came from just 32 balls.

In contrast, the other semi-final was a bowler's delight as Waringstown's 150-9 was 27 runs too many for Brigade at Beechgrove .

Johnny Thompson took 4-24, including top scorer Jonathan Bushe (41), but with the pitch turning square, the visitors, who had four spinners in their line-up, were happy with their total.

So it proved as Gary Kidd and Lee Nelson reduced the north-westerners to 60-5. Not one Brigade batsman reached 20 and they were all out in the 43rd over.



Rain delays Ireland's bid for finals berth

IRELAND will get a second chance to secure qualification for the U-19 World Cup finals after having their pivotal match against Namibia rained off yesterday at Strabane.

With one round of games to be played, plus the rematch against Namibia in Coleraine today, Ireland can still top the 10-nation tournament or, by losing both matches heavily, fail to qualify by finishing seventh.

Ireland's five wins should already be enough for a place in next year's finals in Queensland but a chance to end the doubts was missed on Saturday when winning positions were twice thrown away against Nepal.

Ireland leaked 42 runs from the final three overs to allow Nepal to reach 187-7 at Bready and then lost their way again in the batting power play before slumping to their second defeat of the tournament by 10 runs.

George Dockrell was embarrassingly adjudged man-of-the-match for his 3-15 and 55 in a losing cause while Nepal all-rounder Rahul Vishvakarma was overlooked after smashing 38 not out from 19 balls and then taking four wickets.

Ireland's was the only game of the penultimate round of qualifying matches not to be completed yesterday. Only 8.1 overs were possible in two spells at Strabane, during which time Namibia reached 32-1, but today's contest starts afresh.

Irish Independent

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