Cork Cricket Club

County close to claiming the title – (Sean Power, Evening Echo)

They say victory is never secure until the Fat Lady sings but, not having even booked the Diva for her final performance, Cork County believe they have won this season’s Munster Senior League. “It’s a done deal now” says County’s Captain Robert Duggan following the Mardyke side’s authoritative win over Midleton at the College grounds on Sunday. “No one can stop us now” he asserted.

Nor, it seems, can they. With a lead of over 50 points and a match in hand, with three games to play, all at the Mardyke, the statistics, and the facts, stack up in County’s favour. The pennant of champions will undoubtedly fly high at the Mardyke following this strategic win at Midleton.

Three wickets and six overs turned out to the winning margin at the end of an encounter that was both entertaining and enthralling. Midleton, urged on by their captain, Kuros Mohammadi, fought the brave and good fight until capitulation was inevitable. The 20-plus points that County garnished from their wholehearted endeavours added up to their now unassailable position at the top of the table.

County were assumed to be embarking on a transitional phase at the beginning of this season but such has been the influence of captain Robert Duggan; Bruce Koch with his man of the match performances; Matt Reed with his calm commitment; and the form of the younger brigade, such as Chris Banon and Oliver Creedon – both of whom put in match winning displays on Sunday – amounted to performances that had to be anointed with success.

And so they have. Furthermore, County could make it a league and cup double if they are successful against Limerick Raiders next month in what has long been accepted as the Blue Riband of cricket. Midleton can hold their heads up high. They made 191 all out and Andy Wootton (3 for 46), Bruce Koch (2 for 25), Matt Reed (2 for 43) and Ciarán Healy (2 for 57) had to work overtime to take their wickets. Clinton Laverty, with his majestic 82, saw Midleton to their 191 total in 42 overs, helped significantly by David Sommerfield who, for a very long period, thwarted the hostile attack in making 24.

Cork County never quite sparkled in their innings and once again, Koch (37) was their top scorer. Oliver Creedon was defiant in the face of some very potent strike bowling, and was an imposing and impressive opening batsman, either playing forward or off the back foot. There was, also, a joy of an innings from Chris Banon who brought County to the cusp of victory before Matt Reed and Noel Cronin reached their objective without too much strife.

Bigger games in the Leinster League are looming and County, while prudently celebrating their new celebrity as league champions, must wait longer to ascertain their true status in both Leinster and Munster, seeing that the Cup Final is still on the domestic agenda and big matches await them in Dublin.

Sean Power
Evening Echo, 19 August 2010, page 55.

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