After a hiatus of 679 days, which included two half seasons of “an poc fada”, sometimes known as T20 with participants attired in a variety of colours ranging through the spectrum from red to violet, fifty over cricket returned to the Leinster leagues.

Players clad in pristine white adorned the greensward in the burning heat of the remorseless sun. There were four Premier League ties down for decision and, sadly, not one of them was in any way a close-run thing;

Merrion 231, beat Leinster 124 by 107 runs.

Jack Carty (86) and John Anderson (44) were the leading lights as Merrion enjoyed their day in the sun despite the best efforts of Aviral Shukla, who took 3 for 24 and Saqib Bahadur, 3 for 42.

The Leinster reply fell well short of their target, Dev Ranolia (22) and Jack Salter (21) offered the best resistance to the bowling of Amish Sidhu, 3 for 17, Jack Carty, 2 for 2 and Max Sorensen,2 for 23.

Jack Carty batting

Clontarf 88/1 beat YMCA 84 by 9 wickets.

YM, stripped of their Ireland players, were bowled out in just 22 overs, Jack Tector (23), Tim Tector (13, and Rory Anders (13) did what they could but the pace of David Delany who helped himself to 4 scalps at a cost of 26 runs.

Bobbo Forrest (37) and PJ Moor (28*) and David Delany (18*)provided the bulk of the required runs for Clontarf. Rory Anders took the only wicket to fall, for 39 runs.

David Delany

Malahide 334/7 beat The Hills 147 by 187 runs.

A bizarre start which saw The Hills win the toss and opt to field first, saw Malahide up what appeared to be a very messy creek, two wickets down for 2 runs in the second over.

Events soon took a very sharp turn as Callum Riches, with a career best 140, and Matt Ford (109) took the game away from The Hills who were feeling the loss of a couple of bowlers from their number.

Just two more Malahide batters achieved double figures, Finto McAlister (34) and Jimmy Newland (10) as wickets fell a little more freely, Tomás Rooney Murphy 2 for 60, and Dylan Blignaut, 2 for 83, laboured hard in the heat for little reward.

Callum Riches

The Hills response never got off the ground with only Cormac McLoughlin Gavin (29) Andy Kavanagh (29) and Mark Donegan (28) got starts but couldn’t build an innings.

Alistair Frost (2 for 14) Michael Frost (2 for 16) and Keith Reynolds (2 for 29) were the destroyers in chief for the Villagers.

The fourth Premier match saw Pembroke 291 beat Phoenix 188, by 103 runs.

Fiachra Tucker (109) was well backed up by Jonathan Garth (51) and Gavin Hoey (36) as the Sydney Parade side amassed their total in spite of the work of Aaron Cawley (3 for 42) and Matt Lunson (3 for 54).

Fiachra Tucker

The Phoenix response got off to a reasonable start through Jamie Grassi (58) but after he had returned to the shade of the shed only Sam Morris (21) and Nic Pretorius (19) showed any kind of fight in the face of that man Fiachra Tucker whose bowling matched his bat work as he claimed 4 wickets for 24 and Ryan Hopkins who weighed in with 3 for 20.

So after just one day’s play in what will be a truncated league, during which each side will play the others just once, a pattern is starting to emerge. We’ll see if it plays out when the league returns on July 31st.

Premier League
The Hills lost to Malahide by 187 runs.
17 July, Milverton.
Malahide 334-7 (50 overs) C Riches 140, M Ford 109, F McAllister 34; D Blignaut 3-83
The Hills 147 (31 overs)
Premier League
Phoenix lost to Pembroke by 103 runs.
17 July, Phoenix Park.
Pembroke 291 (48.5 overs) F Tucker 109, J Garth 51, G Hoey 36; A Cawley 3-42, M Lunson 3-54
Phoenix 188 (39.4 overs) J Grassi 58; F Tucker 4-24, R Hopkins 3-20
Premier League
Leinster lost to Merrion by 107 runs.
17 July, Rathmines.
Merrion 231 (49.5 overs) J Carty 86, J Anderson 44; A Shukla 3-24, S Bahadur 3-42
Leinster 124 (34.5 overs) A Sidhu 3-17
Premier League
Clontarf beat YMCA by 9 wickets.
17 July, Castle Avenue.
YMCA 84 (21.5 overs) D Delany 4-26, F HAnd 3-7
Clontarf 88-1 (12.4 overs) R Forrest 37, PJ Moor 28*