All to Play for

It is all to play for as the Open Competitions begin the final run in to the league finals. A well-earned eight wicket win for the 1st XI against The Hills, another excellent team performance, sees them emerge as top of their Division alongside the 4th and the 5th XIs. But much remains to be done.

The 1st XI have still to play the 2nd and 3rd placed teams in the Premiership with the game on Saturday v Malahide at Anglesea Road crucial. A win here and the team would have one foot in the final.

Merrion have batted first a lot this season and have used their tight bowling attack to defend whatever scores were posted. This time round they were required to chase – but again the bowling attack ensured that by the end of the first innings the game had shifted decisively in Merrion’s favour. Earlier in the week Merrion achieved their goal by taking wickets in the game against YMCA. This time around they applied scoreboard pressure and at the halfway point of The Hills’ innings they had reached 42/3. With the pressure maintained throughout wickets began to fall with both Jack Carty [3/21] and Max Sorenson [2/18] getting in on the act.

The final total of 102 all out was well below par and with Carty [35] and Stephen Doheny [22] sharing another 50 run opening partnership the result never looked in serious doubt. In the end it was left to John Anderson [27*] and Michael Lewis [12*] to secure the victory with four overs to spare.

Not to be outdone the 3rd XI also managed a win over opponents from The Hills. This time it was a much tighter game. Batting first the first three to the crease made it to double figures but did not kick on and at 64/4 in the eighth over the game was in the balance. But a 50 run partnership between Beant Bhathal [36] and Vikas Dhiman [30] turned the innings around. Some useful runs at the end by skipper Sainath Reddy [21*] saw Merrion to a competitive 161/6.

The Hills started well with a half century opening partnership, followed by another one for the second wicket. At 130/1 with four overs to go the visitors looked to be in the stronger position. But a good spell of bowling from Jack Atkinson [1/16] and some late wickets for Vicky Dalwani [2/43] and Nitin Sharma [1/21] helped Merrion to an 11 run win. Earlier an economic four overs spell from Vidit Sukhramani [1/18] prevented The Hills from taking hold of the game.