Familiar faces to the fore for finals day
The Sunday Independent All-Ireland Twenty20 finals in Bready next month are taking shape, and you'll get short odds on it having the same line-up as last year's inaugural festival.
Already Cork County have re-emerged from Munster, while today the north-west representatives will be decided when holders Bready take on Brigade at Glendermott. In the north, the final has been postponed to allow today's refixes in the 50-over Irish Senior Cup. Defending champions Waringstown will have the advantage of playing at home against North Down next Sunday at the Lawn.
The situation is less clear in Leinster, where the returning rain forced North County's quarter-final at home to Leinster to be postponed. With finals day set for August 4, there is still some leeway for a refix. In the other games on Friday night there were wins for Merrion, YMCA and Clontarf. Merrion's powerful all-round game was in peak condition as their tigerish fielding, bowling and catching kept Phoenix to just 101-7, including just four boundaries.
For Merrion, Tyrone Kane hit that many in one over off Ben White, and with David Langford-Smith smacking a belligerent 40, the game was won in 8.2 overs.
Dhiram Singh made 59 as The Hills totalled 132 at Claremont Road, with James Parkinson excelling with 4-12 off his four. Harry Tector also picked up 3-27, and made 50, but the Northern Knight was out with 23 needed and it was left to schoolboy prodigy Mitchell Thompson to clinch a one-wicket win off the last ball.
Clontarf overcame Munster Heat on Thursday, with veteran Bill Coghlan (70no) and Obus Pienaar (44no) seeing them home. The South African had earlier taken 4-24 and his captain, Joe Morrissey, was full of praise for his contribution all season.
"Obus has been exemplary with bat and ball, but has also been exemplary as a man. He's been taking young players under his wing and helping David Delany to realise how good he is and how much better he can be."
Morrissey is passionate that Ireland need to improve at T20. "It's all very well being a Test nation but if we want to be viable then we have to focus on T20. All over the world the funds are flowing into the shorter formats," he said.
Clontarf think about T20, and with clever T20 players such as John Mooney (now with Afghanistan), Andrew Poynter and Pienaar they will be keen to defend their Leinster and Sunday Independent All-Ireland trophies.
Sunday Indo Sport