Sunday 18 March 2018

Sorensen back to lift stuttering Hills

Max Sorensen
Max Sorensen

Ian Callender

AFTER two games in defence of their RSA Leinster League Division One title, The Hills find themselves bottom of the table with just two bonus points.

They may be relieved that their opponents today are Terenure, with whom they share the basement position but, to put it bluntly, it is not a game the champions can even contemplate losing.

Their big bonus is that Ireland international Max Sorensen is available for the first time and should make a big difference to their prospects, especially as Merrion, last year's runners-up, dismissed Terenure for 109 in their last game, en route to a 10-wicket win.

That maximum-points victory took the Ballsbridge side to the summit but they are involved in the match of the day when they meet North County at Balrothery.

Merrion's bowling has been key to their first two successes – they blew away Pembroke on the opening weekend for just 77 – so their batting has yet to be fully tested, but there is no question that will change today, with Ireland all-rounder John Mooney and Eddie Richardson in the opposition line-up.

Last year's third and fourth-placed teams, YMCA and Pembroke, meet in the Dublin 4 derby at Sydney Parade. YM are the only other team to have won their first two games but dropped seven points in narrow victories against North County and Railway Union.

YM will be boosted by the inclusion of former Ireland captain Trent Johnston today and he also travels north tomorrow for the rearranged Irish Cup match against Downpatrick, with Jack Tector and Bobby Gamble both unavailable because of their participation with Ireland U-19s in a warm-up match against the Northern Knights.

Bill Coghlan and Simmi Singh are the two changes in the Leinster Lightning squad for next week's Newstalk inter-provincial championship game against the North West Warriors at Bready – they replace county professionals George Dockrell and Andrew Balbirnie.

Coghlan has a top score of 23 in three innings for Clontarf this season and with Alex Cusack missing today's game against Railway Union at Park Avenue, last year's Division Two champions may need him to fire today.

At least Clontarf will not have to face Kevin O'Brien – the Railway skipper is likely to be a regular absentee after signing a seven-week contract with Surrey to play in the Twenty20 Blast before he joins Trinidad to play in the Caribbean Premier League.

His first game for Surrey was last night against Sussex.

Irish Independent

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