Two cagey affairs saw Limerick coming out with mixed emotions from their two league matches over the weekend.
Limerick 2 were unlucky to fall just short of victory whilst Limerick 4 would scrape over the line in the narrowest of victories.
Limerick 2 faced off against Midleton with both teams looking to get their homework done before the grande finale this Saturday.
It was Midleton who started the brighter out of the two, a good spell of opening bowling left Limerick bewildered after losing some early wickets. Zubair Rehman, one of Limerick’s most consistent batsmen this year came in at 4 and steadied the ship for the Shannonsiders, himself and captain Mohammed Gouse pushed Limerick in the right direction with a strong partnership for the fifth wicket.
Zubair was run out just after he made his 50, his innings would come to a close on 51. Gouse on the other hand was unlucky to fall just one run short of his maiden 50 for the year. Limerick’s tail couldn’t offer much as the away side ended up on a total of 165.
Midleton started brightly before Usman Khan picked up his opening wicket of the day, bowling the batsman on a delivery of good line and length.
James Spencer would soon follow by dismissing the other opener. A half century from Midleton’s number 3 pushed Midleton towards what looked to be an easy victory but Limerick fought hard with the ball in hand, spinner Abhishek Ramanujan coming on to take 3 wickets and decimate the Midleton middle order.
Shani Alam’s game wasn’t finished either, his spell consisted too of 3 wickets and destructing Midleton down to 9 wickets, Limerick just one wicket short of victory.
However, it would be Midelton who would edge over the line on the tightest of margins finishing on 166-9.
Limerick: 165 all out
Zubair Rehman 51
Mohammed Gouse 49
Abhishek Ramanujan 3-22
Shani Alam 3-30
Limerick 4 must have been taking some pages from Midleton’s book as their one wicket victory seemed almost identical. Limerick youngster Abdul Baqi Khan was beginning to take a liking to Farmer’s cross as he picked up his second five-wicket haul in his first season at the club.
He wrapped up the Cork Harlequins innings with figures of 5-26, Limerick medium pacer Yousaf Sarwari chipping in with 3-22 to restrict Quins to 136 all out. Australian-born Ian Donchi would use all his years of experience to make a well-earned 48 before the Limerick tail rallied home for the remaining runs.
Next weekend sees the aforementioned cup finals taking place as Limerick will travel to Midleton Town Park and Farmer’s Cross for their Junior and Minor Cup finals against Midleton and Cork Harlequins respectively.
Gouse’s junior side will be searching for Junior Cup glory for the first time since 2005, a 14 year wait for the club to lift the trophy whilst Ajay Narayanan’s minor side have the chance to regain their Minor cup from 2017.