Limerick came up second best in their Junior Cup final bout with Midleton on Saturday in Adare after what was a tough couple of weeks for the club after the passing of former player Mustafa Sidiqi.
Mustafa put in an exhilarating Man of the Match performance in the 2016 final for LCC and would have been proudly looking down on his brothers over the weekend.
A minute’s silence was held in respect of the talented youngster before Midleton took to the field after Limerick won the toss and elected to bat in dry conditions at the Manor Fields.
However, it was the away side that diminished any sentiments of home advantage early on, Limerick finding themselves on 5-2 before even 3 overs had elapsed; openers Abhishek Ramanujan and Shani Alam being caught early on as Swaroop Burra and Zubair Rehman came to the crease to face a still newish ball. The two settled the Shannonsiders into the game with a 50 partnership before Rehman was out LBW in the 15 th over.
The next half an hour belonged to the away side as they mercilessly began to chop through the middle order with the Shannonsiders able to show very little resistance.
When captain Mohamed Gouse fell on the 35 th over for 119-7, Limerick were in need of a big contribution form the tail end. Asif Shahab and James Spencer scratched their way to make a semi-respectable total of 148 for the home side to give the bowlers, ironically themselves, something to defend.
Limerick bounced back well with the ball and almost mirrored their opposition’s efforts. Asif Shahab put the ball on a nice tempting line outside the off stump which had the batsmen fishing and he was good enough to find the edge on two occasions in the opening exchanges.
James Spencer followed him in from the other end to leave Midleton on a nervy total of 44-4. A crucial partnership of 57 runs for the fifth wicket proved to be a match winner for Midleton and although Limerick fought tooth and nail to claw the opposition back to 113-7, which included an opportunistic run out from club veteran John Dazlm,
Midleton were just 35 runs short of victory at the turn of the 26 th over and were able to knock off the remainder of the runs without the loss of any wicket to lift the Munster Junior Cup.
Limerick: 148 all out
Swaroop Burra 32
Mohamed Gouse 27
Asif Shahab 2-27
James Spencer 2-39
There was something to cheer about in Adare on Sunday however as Limerick’s 3rd XI continued their brilliant run of form by trumping Lismore by 2 wickets in a narrow victory.
The win featured 3 debutants for LCC, all of whom were under 18, in a team that featured only 2 players over the age of 25.
The youth shone for LCC both with bat and ball as Evan Thomas picked up 2-29 on debut whilst Aidan Saya opened the batting and made a solid 15 off 43 balls to kick-start his run career at the club, many more wickets and runs to come no doubt.
You can still donate to the Mustafa Sidiqi Go Fund Me page on the link below.