The 4th and final match of the U-13 series took place on Friday 2nd August on the lower pitch at Stormont. Again the weather was fantastic and Leinster had no hesitation in batting when they won the toss.
The NCU started very strongly with Tom Crothers and FInn Lutton opening the bowling and after 9 overs Leinster were reduced to 20 for 3 with Crothers taking all 3 wickets. Cosgrove, who had batted well all week then started to re-build firstly with Doyle and the Jacobs bringing the score to 84 after 18 overs. Cosgrove batted right through the innings until the last over when he was out for a very well made 81. The final total of 193 all out was a very challenging one. The pick of the NCU bowlers was Tom Crothers who continued his great week with the bat this time with the ball taking 5 for 25 in his 8 overs. Dyer, Speers and Leckey were the other wicket takers.
In reply Leinster started strongly and took the vital early wicket of Hunter, Leckey and Allister set about re-building and brought the total to 33 after 7 overs, unfortunately wickets fell at regular intervals and after 20 overs the NCU were 86 for 5 and Leinster were in the driving seat. Over the next 10 overs Jude Keates and Tom Crothers batted sensibly and brought the NCU back into the game and when Keates was out in the 30th the score was 148 for 6. The game was very evenly poised and in the end it went right to the penultimate over with the NCU needing 7 off the last 2 overs with one wicket remaining. Palmer and Hollway had put on 19 for the last wicket but unfortunately the NCU came up short by 3 runs.
Another fantastic advert for U-13 performance cricket. In all a great weeks’ cricket with some great individual performances. Thanks need to go to Ring Commons and Stormont for the use of their facilities and to all the parents for their support.
The NCU now turn their attention to a two day tour to Prestwick on Monday 5th August where they will play both East and West of Scotland U13 in a round robin three team mini festival.
A huge thanks to Stephen Dyer and Regan West for managing the last two weeks and also to the parents who have been great supporters of this programme.