Historic first league title for Swords
There were celebrations in Swords on Saturday evening as they wrapped up their first-ever league title by beating The Hills 3rds by four wickets.
Swords timed their title challenge perfectly by winning their last four matches to pip Laois 2nds in the run-in, and they will now take their place in Division 7 next season as one of Fingal's youngest clubs continue to rise through the ranks.
Swords travelled to Margaretstown to take on The Hills in this crunch match, knowing victory would be enough to seal the title. The home side won the toss and decided to bat and they began well, with Aijaz Farooqi and Athar Farooqi opening for The Hills. The brothers were going along nicely until Swords made a breakthrough when Benlee Muttathottil caught out Athar Farooqi off a Manoj Nanndanan delivery.
The Hills moved on to 106/4, with Nanndanan claiming his third wicket of the day, before Matthew Richards hit a useful 32 to move the home side onto 170/5. The home side suffered a late collapse, however, as they lost their final three wickets for just seven runs to end up on 171/8.
Swords responded well, with Muttathottil and Ebin Paivi putting on 47 before the former was caught by Woodhouse. However, a fine half-century from Paiva got Swords motoring again as they passed the 100 mark.
Swords lost a couple of quick wickets to give The Hills a glimmer of hope, but Pranay Gautam and Muralidhar Ng saw the visitors home with a 40-run sixth-wicket stand to seal victory and the league title for Swords.