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Hills now in title chase after they go for ‘Broke

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Star man - Cormac McLoughlin-Gavin of The Hills.

Star man - Cormac McLoughlin-Gavin of The Hills.

Star man - Cormac McLoughlin-Gavin of The Hills.

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The Hills pulled off one of the more eye-raising results when they smashed Pembroke by eight wickets last Saturday to move into second spot, just behind Balbriggan in the Premier League table.

Cormac McLoughlin-Gavin produced the man-of-the-match performance with 89 not out, picking up two catches to boot, as the away side secured a dominant victory at Sydney Parade.

Pembroke won the toss and opted to bat, but the Hills attack tore into their top order and Dylan Blignaut did the early damage, taking three of the first four wickets to fall to leave the home side on 38/4.

While Pembroke were without their international players, they still have a very strong squad, but Blignaut has been excellent this season and he decimated the top order, conceding only 36 runs from his 9.5 overs, well supported by Ash Bain.

At 96/6 a seventh-wicket stand saw Pembroke move the score on to 164/7, but the loss of their eighth wicket – taken by Tomas Rooney-Murphy thanks to a catch by Mark Donegan – was quickly followed by two more and Pembroke were all out for 186.

Such a total was always going to take a lot of defending, especially as The Hills have been hitting some real form.

As it turned out, both Donegan and Rooney-Murphy remained sat on the bench as The Hills only needed their top four in the batting order to chase down the total.

McLoughlin-Gavin’s top-order partnerships of 109 with Athar Farooqi (37) and 57 with Andrew Kavanagh (38) saw The Hills ease towards victory, while the in-form Murray Commins came in at four and managed to get 18 runs as his side successfully chased down the total.

It’s a victory now which moves The Hills into prime position to challenge Balbriggan atop the Premier League.

By the time The Hills host Merrion on Saturday they will have played their re-fixed Alan Murray Cup Final, so they could really have serious momentum for what may be a top-of-the-table clash with Balbriggan on Augst 20th at The Vineyard.

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Balbriggan and The Hills squared off back in July at the Jack Harper Grounds and the hosts eked out a 23-run victory on that occasion as The Hills fell just short in their chase.

But the momentum for both sides has switched in recent times and there is nothing to say The Hills couldn’t leapfrog their local rivals in what will be the 11th round of fixtures.

Then, with three further matches remaining, the title race could go right down to the wire.

THE HILLS: Andrew Kavanagh, Mark Donegan, Athar Farooqi, Cormac Mcloughlin-Gavin, Tomas Rooney Murphy, Sam Smyth, Levon Shields, Jonathan Tall, Dylan Blignaut, Murray Commins, Ash Bain.


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