Cork Cricket Club

County secure Senior League and Cup Double in convincing fashion

Keeping up appearances. This, Cork County did with aplomb when virtually dismissing the challenge of Limerick Raiders in their eagerly awaited Munster Senior Cup final at the Mardyke. Aiming to secure the League and Cup double for a season that heralded so many good omens, County went about their expected mammoth clash against one of their bogey sides with an intent that was almost brutal in its execution.

On a day when rain always threatened to ruin the proceedings, Cork County captain, Robert Duggan, on winning the toss, had no hesitation in putting Limerick into bat. Thereafter, it was mostly down hill for a willing and brave side who either succumbed to the challenge offered by County or simply imploded in the atmosphere of the big occasion. Perhaps it was a combination of the two that resulted in this final terminating in mid afternoon, just before the rains came.

The search for new talent is a relentless pursuit at Cork County who have been the kingpins of cricket in Munster going back generations. On Sunday a new star was born or, the astute Mardyke mentors would suggest, Dessie O’Leary displayed his rich talent with the bat that they knew was always part of his armoury. Facing a meagre total of 99 for a win, O’Leary and his opening partner, vice captain Ross Durity knocked off the required runs with consummate ease.

Durity was known for his many regal displays, but, on this occasion, in the Blue Ribon clash for the Munster Cup, he was outshone by O’Leary whose commanding presence at the crease ensured that County’s pursuit of the ultimate honours would be but a stroll in the park.

His dexterity, his power and his treatment of the Limerick bowlers gave him an aura of invincibility which bode so much good for County and suggested so much grief for Limeriick. His innings started well and ended gloriously with the winning boundary of imperial majesty struck through the covers.

This was no docile Limerick side with captain Azeem Khan expecting his team to perform in a winning vein. Their troubles came early when the indestructible Bruce Koch rattled their cage, taking 4 for 14 in ten overs. Seamer James Duggan, who seems to have added a yard of pace to his deliveries, reinforced the gauntlet with his 3 for 29 and Andrew Saul(2 for 29) ensure there was no escape route.

Zakia at 27 was their highest scorer and Shraza, at 15, put some respectibility to the total when County threatened total annihilation.Compare these statistics to O’Leary’s 51 not out and Durity’s not out 42 and the gulf between the sides becomes quite evident.

Captain Robert Duggan and his team were able to celebrate the Double at an early stage of the afternoon,even before Tipperary in Croke Park, had their moment of glory.

Cup finals were never expected to be like this and umpires, Michael Hickey and Paddy Comerford saw their day so unexpectedly abbreviated by the size of the Cork County triumph. In presenting the trophy to captain Duggan, Munster Cricket Union President, Gerry Horan praised the excellence of the County team and stressed he was certain that Limerick Raiders would be back next season with renewed vigour and zest.

Man of the match adjudicator, Bertie Coleman had no hesitation in nominating Dessie O’Leary for this award, a decision which gained unanimous approval.

Madras Cup—- It was Ladies Day at the Mardyke on Saturday when the club’s female stars took on North Kildare for the Madras Cup. As holders, the Matt Reed trained Cork girls were defending the trophy they first won last year. They appreciated the difficulty of their assignment on a day when the sun suggested summer would stay with us forever.

But, the glow of heat was generated mostly by North Kildare who made 136 for their 25 overs, despite Emer Twomey and Mary Long each taking two wickets.In reply, Cork could only manage 122 which left them perilously short of their target.Captain Laura Peters made a redoubtable 25; Valerie Barry chipped in with 20 and Tamsin Cunniffe(18) made brave and valiant efforts to chase down the North Kildare score. All, however, to no avail but, as captain Peters proclaimed, next season we will turn the scales.

Rugby Players in Action—The Mardyke played host to the inaugural Shay Livingstone’s Cork County selection against a team drawn from Cork Constitution.There were a lot of bragging rights on offer to the winners so there was a keenness about the proceedings. All the participants have been major winners on the rugby union scene and some, like Brian Walsh, would have made the international side had he opted for the cricket code.

Livingstone’s marauders had to eat humble pie in the end, losing by a scant nine runs.The 149 Con accumulated, thanks to Dara Lyons and, Kenny Murphy, who was awarded the Rochestown Park Hotel trophy as man of the match.

Brian Walsh, as expected, top scored with 24 and the others to make their mark for Livingstone’s eleven were Packy Durham and Noel Walsh.

More to come next season. .

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