After finishing second in the pool stages, Limerick’s junior XI faced the tough task of an away semi-final at Farmer’s Cross against Cork Harlequins on Sunday afternoon. Overcast conditions allowed a slight advantage to the bowlers and with Limerick losing the toss, they were put in to bat by the home side.
Despite losing Azeem Khan early on, Limerick were able to recover picking up some quick runs in the opening exchanges leaving them on 28-1 after 3. Quins were able to claw back two quick wickets before Tim Smithies and opener Arsalan Khalid steadied the ship for the away side in the middle overs, a 36 run partnership proving very significant in setting a good
target. Captain Mohamed Gouse hit a quickfire 15 from 12 deliveries as the 100 came up for Limerick in the 14th over.
Sarfraz Ramay and Usman Khan initiated a wagging tail with some rampant boundaries in the final few overs to boost the score to 145-9, given Quins a chase of over 7 runs an over.
Asif Hussein was given the new ball for Limerick and he let everyone know his skipper made the right decision with two early wickets, disallowing any early momentum to be gathered with the bat. The Limerick attack continued to flourish, John Daly picking up his 50th wicket in LCC colours when he put an end to batsman 4 and 5’s time at the crease leaving the home side struggling on 98-4, needing just under 50 runs in the remaining 5 overs.
With the pressure on, the over became crucial to the end result as the brakes came off for Quins who self-destructed instantly. Matty Brewster (54) was next to go which was then followed by a massive LBW appeal to the new-coming batsman who was judged out and suddenly, the game had turned on its head. John Daly was to come back with a hat trick delivery in his next over but the damage was done; Quins neither had the wickets or deliveries in hand to chase the remaining runs and victory was near for the Shannonsiders.
Shani Alam picked up one more to ensure victory for Limerick in the final stages as the home side were 16 runs short finishing on 129-9. The victory means Limerick will face off against Cork County in the Mardyke next Sunday where they’ll be hoping for history to repeat itself after winning the competition at the exact same ground last year.
There was further success for LCC this weekend as the Minor side were victorious in their Minor A t20 Blast final on the Bank Holiday Monday. An all Limerick derby against the Blasters had all the ingredients of a spicy affair, and captain Ajay Hari’s side proved to have too much with the ball dismissing the opposition for just 75 in 18 overs. A man of the match
performance from Australian James Spencer was rightly deserved as he finished on figures of 4-4 from his 4 overs. A patient run chase from Limerick was controlled and steady throughout as they finished out worthy winners by 5 wickets, bringing the trophy back to Adare!