Friday 19 January 2018

Double blow for The Hills as Carroll leads Leinster to title

When Max Sorensen finally made it to the middle in the 37th over, The Hills had struggled to 99-4. Photo: Stock Image
When Max Sorensen finally made it to the middle in the 37th over, The Hills had struggled to 99-4. Photo: Stock Image

Ian Callender

There was double disappointment for The Hills on Saturday when they not only lost the Irish Cup final to Waringstown but Leinster's victory over North County ended their hopes of winning the Division 1 league title.

That trophy will be residing in Rathmines for the next year after Leinster's stunning triumph, from Division 2 runners-up to Division 1 winners in successive seasons, but it was The Hills' own performance at Bready which will be the more bitter pill to swallow.

After easing through four rounds, all at home, travel sickness caught up with the Skerries side as they mustered only 135 when asked to bat first.

When Max Sorensen finally made it to the middle in the 37th over, The Hills had struggled to 99-4.

Even their big hitting captain failed to dominate the Waringstown slow bowlers, hitting a solitary six. And when he lost his last three team-mates in the space of four balls, Sorensen was left stranded 24 not out.

There was, remarkably, still a chance of victory for The Hills when Ryan Cartwright took two wickets in three balls to reduce Waringstown to 93-6, but it was to be their last success as captain Greg Thompson and man of the match Kyle McCallan, who had taken three wickets, added the remaining runs in 11 overs.

Target

At Rathmines, Joe Carroll took 7-35 as North County were bowled out for 167, despite 88 from Eddie Richardson and, with George Dockrell continuing his fine form with the bat, top-scoring with 42 in reply, Leinster reached their target with five wickets and almost 10 overs to spare to repeat their league success of 2012.

Malahide's last pair put on 87 but they still fell six runs short of Balbriggan's 221 for seven, a defeat which cost them promotion from Division 2, and confirmed that Pembroke, who finished seventh in Division 1 after losing to YMCA despite a century from Andrew Balbirnie, will not have to contest a relegation play-off.

Phoenix leapfrogged them into sixth place by hammering relegated Cork County by 181 runs after an opening stand of 159 between Reinhardt Strydom, who scored 108, and Richie Lawrence.

That partnership, however, was dwarfed by a sensational 297 for the first wicket between Givon Christian (175 with 22 fours and three sixes) and Jeremy Bray (105 not out) for Terenure against North Kildare, while Kevin O'Brien scored the last 21 runs off the bat to take Railway Union to a thrilling one wicket win over Rush.

Yesterday's National Cup final, between Malahide and Terenure was abandoned because the Bready ground was unplayable.

It will now be played at a Dublin venue next Saturday.

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