Sunday 19 November 2017

YMCA hope Fisher swoop can help them take next step

Ireland's women suffered a heavy defeat to Australia at the World Twenty20 yesterday
Ireland's women suffered a heavy defeat to Australia at the World Twenty20 yesterday

Ian Callender

The arrival of Tom Fisher at YMCA on the eve of the new season could have a major impact at both ends of the Division 1 table.

Only five batsmen scored more runs in the top two divisions last year than the former Terenure captain, and he played a key role in the team's promotion.

The Ireland 'A' opener has jumped ship and will be a direct replacement for former international Reinhardt Strydom, who started the musical chairs by moving to Malahide as their new player/coach.

Fisher joins Zimbabwean Irish passport-holder PJ Moor at Claremont Road as the Senior Cup holders show their determination to improve on last year's third-place finish.

Trent Johnston will continue to make himself available despite his retirement from the Ireland team, but Jeremy Bray, his predecessor as coach of the Ireland Women's side, is likely to miss the first two months of the season because of coaching commitments.

YMCA start their season today, at home to North County, who have international John Mooney on board from the start despite the all-rounder leaving Ireland's tour of the Caribbean in January with a stress-related illness.

Although not included in the Ireland squad for the first two internationals of the season – against an under-strength Sri Lanka next month – encouragingly, Mooney is on his way back and has been named Leinster Lightning captain for this season.

The Hills begin the defence of their league crown at home to Railway Union, who will again be without Kevin O'Brien for much of the second half of the season – he has again been selected to play in the Caribbean Premier League.

The only other Division 1 game today is at Castle Avenue between two promoted teams and, although being forced to name a new captain, Terenure are stronger than last season with the arrivals of Stephen Moreton, Conor Kelly and Ireland's 2007 World Cup opening bowler Dave Langford-Smith.

Clontarf, by contrast, have lost both Andre Botha and Dom Rigby from their title and Irish Cup-winning side.

Because of ongoing work at their ground, Pembroke's clash against last year's runners-up Merrion has been switched to Claremont Road and put back until tomorrow.

FIXTURES

TODAY

Leinster League – Division 1 (12.30): Clontarf v Terenure, Castle Avenue; The Hills v Railway Union, Milverton; YMCA v North County, Claremont Road.

Division 2: Balbriggan v Dublin University, Balbriggan; Cork County v Leinster, Mardyke; Merrion 2 v Pembroke 2, Anglesea Road; Phoenix v Rush, Phoenix Park.

SUNDAY

Leinster League – Division 1 (12.30): Pembroke v Merrion, Claremont Road.

Irish Independent

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