Cork Cricket Club

Cork County hit form to douse Terenure fire

Cork County showed why they are Munster champions by the calibre of their play against Terenure in a vital Leinster League match in Dublin last Saturday. Their stunning display against one of the league’s top sides saw them victorious in a titanic finale.

This was Cork County at their best. In a nail biting final over, Andrew Saul hit a two off the last ball to take the Mardyke side past the winning post by one run, a win they richly deserved on the run of play. For all that, it was very hard earned. They faced a total of 240 and because of the way the pitch played, it looked an insurmountable target.

Cork County’s attack this season has been spearheaded by some remarkable returns from Bruce Koch, Matt Reed, Andrew Wootton and James Duggan, which gave the Dyke side a considerable edge in their domestic league. However, it was an ominous sign that, despite line and length bowling, Terenure were quite up to the task of scoring enough runs in their innings to set the visitors a very daunting task.

Robert Duggan’s warriors were not to be fazed and in newcomer Simon Ridley and Bruce Koch they possessed the nucleus of batting talent to save the day. And they accomplished with reassuring skill and technique. It was a joy to see these two in action. In the end, Ridley was but one run short of his century and Koch, the most impressive player of the entire season, was out for 60.

Though nearing the magic total of 240, County, as always, provided a heart-thumping climax as Andrew Wootton was forced into an all-out offensive mode, as the overs ran down, and his huge six and clever boundary in the penultimate over put the onus on Saul to clinch the match. Two off the last ball of the match, in mounting tension and anxiety, gave the Cork team their one run win.

“Yes we can” was their slogan, to which the obvious riposte should certainly be “yes we did!” “This was a mighty performance and a very significant win” said Captain Robert Duggan, who will lead his side against Limerick Raiders in the Provincial Cup decider at the Mardyke this coming Sunday, September 5th. In this kind of form, and having a full panel to pick from, it is difficult to see County playing second fiddle to any team in the Province. Yet, Limerick are quite capable of surprises but it would take a major upheaval to knock the league champions off their lofty pedestal. But, by their unpredictable nature, cup encounters have a habit of burying certainties and elevating challengers to high pinnacles of success. This final will provide all the answers.

It is a big ask to require a Cork team to play two vital Leinster League matches in Dublin on successive days. Cork County knew this, as a condition of gaining entry, and have undertaken the onerous programme of travel and matches without demur. For all that, it is quite exhausting and County showed this characteristic in their game against Old Belvedere at Cabra on Sunday.

Emotionally drained, they capitulated rather tamely and Belvedere’s 220 was a bridge too far for the visitors. Des O’Leary, with a well crafted 60, tried to restore equilibrium with the bat and James Duggan, with the ball, but to no great avail. Cork County’s 150 fell appreciably short by 70 runs. It dampened, somewhat, the exhilaration of the result against Terenure the previous day but it underlined their determination to continue to compete at the highest levels.

Now, the end is near. Two more Leinster League games, the first against Pembroke at Oak Hill, Wicklow on September 11th followed by the previously postponed match against The Hills at Milverton, the following day will finally determine the status of the team and the Club for the 2010 season. All to play for ,and all to look forward to.

Sean Power
Evening Echo, Thursday, September 2nd, 2010.

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