Merrion’s Women secured their successful defence of the Arachas Womens All Ireland T20 Championship with a convincing win over Fox Lodge on Saturday. Inserted into bat in damp conditions [the game was reduced to 19 overs], Merrion got off to a bright start with Annabel Squires and Leah Paul putting on quick runs for the first wicket. When Squires was out with the score on 29, Rachel Delaney joined Paul for what was the decisive partnership of the innings.
When Delaney  was run out with the sore on 124 in the 12th over the foundations were laid for a large total. Coming in at number 5, Polly Ingliss provided the impetus for a final push with 42* in 19 balls.
Throughout Leah Paul continued to punish anything loose and run quickly between the wickets. Her final score of 112* came off 62 balls and contained 18 boundaries.
Merrion’s total of 230/3 always looking like it was beyond the capacity of Fox Lodge to chase down. And so it proved. Wickets fell regularly and despite a short lived fight back Fox Lodge were eventually all out for 60. The wickets were spread around, Julieanne Morrissey [2/4], Sophie Stewart [2/4], Rachel Delaney [2/14], Isobel Light [1/2] and Síbha Bhoja [1/23]. The bowling was helped by some excellent fielding with very good catches and a run out taken by Niamh MacNulty, Ali Boucher and Rachel Delaney.
Congratulations to the team and especially to the senior brains trust [Manager Isobel Joyce, Captain Celeste Raack and Cecelia Joyce [12th] who stepped down for the day to give opportunities for the younger players to shine. Niamh MacNulty captained the team on the day. This has been a feature of the season and the experience gained bodes well for the future.
The last game of the season will be the Pilkington Final [Anglesea Road, 9th September]. Merrion take on closest rivals Clontarf [who we lost to in the final last year] and seek to emulate their performance of last year with three out of four trophies.