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Merrion U13s through to All Ireland final

The Merrion U13 team took themselves to the beautiful surroundings of St Columba’s College in Kilmashogue Lane, Rathfarnham for their eagerly anticipated semi final against the strong Belfast team Instonians.

Before the game Merrion were likely to have one disadvantage as the Northern team play all their domestic season as an under 13 team whilst Merrion just play in the cup as an under 13 team, however team spirit amongst the team has certainly not been lacking.

As the teams arrived in glorious sunshine, the warm ups took place , with the Merrion parents surveying the opposition.

Comments like “they are very big” “ he is fast “ were made . We knew this was going to be a stern test.

With Merrion winning the toss, Instonians were inserted.

Instonians got off to a flyer and were 32 for 0 after 4 overs however the game changed when Jack  O’Flaherty threw down the stumps from mid off and the oppositions star batsmen was run out for 21.

Robbie’s radar was spot on and bowled the other opener and Matthew Kennedy’s  magnificent catch at mid wicket ensured Instonians top three were all back in the hutch for 50 runs.

This is when the Merrion bowlers took a firm grip on the match with the spin twins of Jan Dijkstra [2/15] and Sam Casey [3/10] bowling 8 overs of leg break that turned the game.  Instonians closed their innings at 115 runs. The bowling attack was completed by Ben Wilson Moore [1/31], Robbie Miller-Jones [1/19] and Toby Houchin [1/32].

 The one blot in the Merrion bowling were the 21 wides !!  Would this prove to be crucial.

The Merrion chase took place against the bigger and faster bowling unit. Sam and Ben took guard and battled hard against some fast bowling. With the score on 25, Sam holed out to another short ball and soon Ben followed with a well made and gutsy 15.

28 for 2 we knew the partnership between Jan and Ollie was going to be crucial if we were going to chase down the total. And so it proved with a 41 run partnership in 5 overs swinging the balance of the match in Merrion’s favour. But there was still work to be done.

But as long as Jan was at the crease Merrion remained in control and as he grew in confidence the target was steadily hauled in. He got good support from the other batters including a fantastic six by Robbie. thrown in,  along with a half chance given by Jan , the last few overs certainly had some drama.

There was still plenty of drama with a half chance from Jan declined and a late flurry of wickets. But in the 18th over and with 3 wickets in hand Merrion completed a hard earned win in front of a good crowd in glorious sunshine.

Instonians too coughed up a lot of extras with 24 wides and no balls.

In the end Merrion got home thanks to some excellent fielding where we managed to dismiss their top four whilst Instonians failed to do this with Jan making an excellent 53 not out.

So the final awaits against Bready . A home final with a venue and a date to be advised. An exciting finish awaits this group of young boys.

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