Fingal Independent

| 17.6°C Dublin

It's North County by an inch in thrilling derby

Cricket: LHW Financial Planning Leinster Senior League Cup

Close

John Mooney unleashes a big shot for North County during Saturday’s League Cup match at The Inch. Pictures: Fintan Clarke

John Mooney unleashes a big shot for North County during Saturday’s League Cup match at The Inch. Pictures: Fintan Clarke

John Mooney unleashes a big shot for North County during Saturday’s League Cup match at The Inch. Pictures: Fintan Clarke

North County made it two wins from two in the LHW Financial Planning Senior League Cup as they edged out local rivals The Hills in a thriller at The Inch.

Both sides had won their opening matches in group B a week earlier, with The Hills edging out Terenure and North County enjoying a convincing victory over Balbriggan.

The Hills won the toss here and opted to bowl first as John Mooney and Niall McGovern opened for North County.

The hosts began well, with Mooney and McGovern quickly bringing up 20 after just a couple of overs. The Hills made an important breakthrough just before the end of the third over when Tomas Rooney Murphy clean-bowled McGovern, who departed the scene having scored 11.

Mooney kept the runs steadily flowing until the ninth over when he was dismissed thanks to Athar Farooqi's catch from a Killian McGrane delivery.

Salman Aziz and Eddie Richardson enjoyed an excellent partnership to help North County bring up the hundred until Aziz was caught by Farooqi when on 33 in the 15th over.

Jonathan Andrews, Sean Sludds and Dhram Singh all went cheaply, with Rooney Murphy doing the majority of the damage as he claimed two wickets in quick succession. Rooney Murphy then claimed the crucial wicket of Eddie Richardson, who was dismissed after battling to an excellent 43.

Murphy completed an excellent spell of bowling by dismissing Manmeet Singh to finish with figures of 5/22. That left The Hills with a target of 139 to chase.

Cormac McLoughlin Gavin and Athar Farooqi opened the batting for The Hills as they began their chase and the duo reached 20 before Farooqi was dismissed by a combination of Eddie Richardson and Luke Whelan in the third over.

McLoughlin Gavin and Mark Donegan enjoyed an excellent partnership of 55 to put The Hills in the driving seat at the half-way mark on 75/1.

Manmeet Singh claimed the crucial wicket of Donegan to halt The Hills' progress and North County went favourite shortly afterwards as Owen Graham caught Levon Shields' strike following Anthony Mooney's delivery.

With five overs remaining the game was in the balance, with The Hills, on 100/3, needing 40 more runs to win.

The Hills' chances were hit as Bhavesh Lakothia fell victim to Sean Sludds' catch after an excellent Singh delivery.

McLoughlin Gavin and Tomas Rooney Murphy looked like they were going to steer The Hills to victory until the crucial wicket of McLoughlin Gavin fell with seven balls remaining.

McLoughlin Gavin departed having scored an excellent 53, knowing his side needed nine runs from the final over to win.

Rooney Murphy had to gamble with three balls left and that gamble failed as he was run out, with The Hills six runs shy of their target.

That meant it was left to Devender Ranolia to hit a four off the final ball to win, and despite his best efforts he just missed out when run out at the death.

It was a close-run thing, but in the end it was the tightest of victories for North County who made it two wins from two.

Fingal Independent