Merrion defeated Bready in the final of the All Ireland U13 Cup by 26 runs at Anglesea Road [23rd September]. Bready won the toss and elected to bowl in a T20 game. The game started a few minutes early and by the time the clock had finally ticked around to the official start time of 13.00, Merrion were already two wickets down. Worse was to follow with the loss of a third wicket on 17 and by the midway point Merrion had only managed 35/3.
But a partnership of 86 between Jan Dijkstra [50*] and Toby Houchin  rescued the innings and was only broken in the 19th over.
A total of 112/5 after 20 overs may have seemed a little light. On the other hand the match was played under normal cricket rules with no one-day wides. This was agreed beforehand and was perfectly fair to both sides and understandable given the threat of a deterioration in the weather. But it did give a false feel to the score. If one day wides had been in place there would have been at least another ten extras recorded and the same number of additional balls to be faced. As such the score of 112/5 was at least par.
Bready got off to a poor start against aggressive opening spells from Houchin [2/13] and Robbie Miller-Johns[2/16]. But it was the introduction of Merrion’s two leg spinners that did most of the damage. Dijkstra made a quick breakthrough and took 3/27 in his four overs. Sam Casey [3/17] replaced him at the Dunluce end and was soon among the wickets, snuffing out a potential Bready revival. Bready were bowled out in the final over for 87.
Overall an excellent all round performance from Merrion against a strong Bready team whose bowling and fielding were of a high standard. Dijkstra once again played a captain’s innings. In both the semi-final and final he made undefeated half-centuries. One final mention, Ollie Molins had a great day behind the stumps for Merrion taking three stumping and a catch.
The team on the day was Robbie Millar Jones, Matthew Kennedy, Oliver Molins, Toby Houchin, Sam Casey, Ben Wilson Moore, Jan Dijkstra, Aaron Deans, Georgiou Joyce, Jack O’Flaherty, Malcolm Joyce. 12th Jamie Stewart. Coach Sam Joyce.
For the records this is only the second time that Merrion have won the All Ireland U13 Cup. The other time was back in 2006 when we defeated Waringstown. We don’t have a photo of that team [anyone that has please send it on] but we have one of the u11 side that won the All Ireland the year before [see below].