Guerin's rescue job drives Belvo to glory

Stephen Findlater

Belvedere Coll 157-9, St Andrew's 128 all out (Belvedere win by 29 runs)

Ireland 'A' panellist Robert Forrest hit an assertive 60 while Ian Guerin's excellent recovery job helped propel Belvedere College to their 35th Leinster schoolboys Senior 'A' title at Observatory Lane last week.

The duo helped post a competitive total of 157 for nine from the allotted 40 overs, which 2011 champions St Andrew's were always unlikely to surpass.

Tom Tatton and Hugh Kennedy's opening spell was economical and also yielded the early wickets of Ryan Hohn -- superbly caught in the slips by Guerin -- and Jack Balbirnie, and Andrew's never truly recovered. Belvo, though, had started with a similar wobble with Oisin Taylor going inside three overs with just two on the board. Andy Delany made not much more, but provided support for the imperious Forrest.

The number three passed 50 with just 76 on the board, and he duly departed fifth man out with 60 to his name from 88. It came at close to a run a ball with six boundaries, but his wicket, clean bowled by Aaron Bailey, left them in a precarious position.

Guerin was on hand, though, to save the innings as he controlled much of the strike in the last 15 overs to ensure his side batted their full complement, clipping 45 not out.

Andrew's could never truly open their arms thanks to Tatton and Kennedy's accurate seamers, with the vital early incisions adding to the pressure.

Opener Bailey (35) and Mark Loughrey (38) initially started a fightback for the fifth wicket, but when the former was dismissed by David Delany, the task became too steep.

Cameron Shoebridge provided solid resistance but the run-rate steepened to more than nine an over and, with Tatton cleaning up some late wickets, the writing was on the wall. He ended with a game best of four for 23 to land the title with Guerin honoured with the man of the match award.