Cork Cricket Club

Cork County overwhelmed by CSNI in the Irish Cup

Cork County made the long trip to Belfast last Friday to take on Civil Service North (CSN) in the second round of the Bob Kerr Irish Senior Cup. The fixture took place at Stormont which acts as one of Ireland’s international grounds and will be hosting West Indies A and Bangladesh this coming summer. CSNI are the NCU ClubTurf Ulster Cup holders and had finished third in the NCU Premier League in 2009. They welcomed their skipper, Nigel Jones, back from World Twenty20 competition in the Caribbean and overseas professional Kieran Noema-Barnett was settling into his second full season with the club.

Cork County knew they had a huge task if they were to cause an upset against one of the premier sides in NCU cricket but with a good pre-season under their belts they hoped to provide a competitive opposition to the Stormont side. However due to injuries to vice captain Ross Durity (broken finger) and opening bowler Parvez Ali (stitches), the unavailability of Keith Banks due to personal reasons, Matt Reed who was on holidays and Andrew Saul who had work commitments; the Mardyke side’s chance took a sharp dip and increased the onus on the remaining senior players.

The day started under unbroken sunshine at Stormont with CSN skipper Nigel Jones winning the toss and electing to ‘have a bat’ on what looked like a perfect batting deck. Stephen Dyer and Hamilton Coulter opened the batting for CSN. Hamilton went in the 5th over adjudged LBW while stepping down the pitch to a ball which kept low from Cork County opener James Duggan. Duggan’s opening spell was one of the positives to be taken from the day with the young seamer showing great maturity and control on a wicket which offered little to the bowlers.

CSN skipper Nigel Jones entered the crease and seemed a little jet lagged and required a number of overs to reacclimatize to Irish conditions after his time with the Ireland squad in the West Indies. Two chances went down in the early overs, one difficult snick high past the diving wicketkeeper Des O’Leary, which would have been a great take, and another put down by Andrew Wootton in the slips.

After these early chances went down, both batsmen soon found their timing and rhythm with opener Stephen Dyer, in particular, taking most of the strike. As the batsmen closed in on both their centuries they matched each other shot for shot. Both seemed to be timing the ball nicely and they reached 80 and then 90 within a few balls of each other. With 9 overs to go both batsmen were on 94, CSN on 206. Nigel Jones’ century (119b 10x4s 3x6s) came with a single off the penultimate ball of the following over, and a single by Stephen Dyer from the next ball brought up the 200 partnership. Dyer brought up his century (125b 11x4s 2x6s) with a single from the last ball of the 43rd over.

Stephen Dyer reached 130 with a 6, taken by Nicky Murphy at deep mid-off, who unfortunately stepped back over the boundary rope. However, Dyer was bowled with the very next ball, trying another shot. Jones innings came to an end off the first ball of the last over. At the end of the innings Kieran Noema-Barnett and Allen Coulter were the not out bats, and the score was 295. The Cork County bowlers had not bowled badly, but after the couple of chances that were not taken, they faced a couple of determined and experienced batsmen, who were able to deal with their attack with few alarms.

Chasing a mammoth total of 295 at just under 6 runs per over, the Cork County batting line-up required a great start from openers Andrew Wootton and Des O’Leary but unfortunately Wootton was caught behind early on from CSN opener J. Costain. Cork County captain, Robert Duggan, joined O’Leary at the crease hoping to consolidate and also attempt to chase down the mammoth CSN total. O’Leary followed Wootton for 17 after being run out superbly by CSN overseas professional Kieran Noema-Barnett. Bruce Koch joined Duggan at the crease and both batsman provided County with their main partnership of the innings. The CSN bowlers maintained excellent line and length throughout the innings denying the County batsmen any chance to free their arms and gain any momentum.

Having reached drinks at 25 overs, both Duggan and Koch attempted to accelerate the run rate with the third and fourth choice bowlers entering the CSN attack. Koch, while attempting to make a lofted sweep against the off-spin of Andrews, had the misfortune of losing his footing and mistimed the shot resulting in a straightforward catch by Noema-Barnett. Duggan followed Koch a number of overs later after being trapped LBW on the back foot by slow left-arm bowler Coulter. The County innings soon lost its momentum with wickets falling at regular intervals. Young County batsman, Oliver Creedon, provided brief rest bite with a well work 16 not out showing great maturity and shot selection against the CSN attack. The CSN bowlers took nearly 45 overs to end the Cork County innings.

Cork County now turn their attention to Leinster League Division 2 where they take on Phoenix and Dublin University on the 15th and 16th May, respectively. The Mardyke side will be hoping for alot better fortune and improved performances throughout the side if they are to come away with a win from the weekend.

Saturday May 8th:
Civil Service North (CSNI) 295-3 beat Cork County 113 all out by 182 runs at Stormont. scorecard

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