Terenure v County Galway Ė Championship Ė 31st July 2021

In 2014 I captained a Terenure 4th XI to the Minor 2 Cup Final. We lost on the day to quite a strong Leinster side. We were a motley crew of young and old, fathers and sons, men, women and children. Opening the bowling that day were the experienced Tom OíNeill and young Seamus Lynch who was about 13 at the time. Another young lad playing that day was Sid Nair. Both their fathers were playing too. As I said a motley crew. Seamus and Sid have come a long way since then. Both took the field on Saturday for the Terenure 1st XI against Galway, both were on the winning side this time and Seamus proved what an exceptional young cricketer he has become.

Unlike 2 weeks ago, there was no danger of me being late for this one as Terenure is just a 20-minute walk from my home. I arrived in good time, sat myself down and watched the sides warming up. There were 3 changes to the Galway side from the one that had lost to North Kildare 2 weeks previous. Thomas Mahon, Aman Verma and Khizar Mehmood had been brought in, with Sukhpal Singh, Vageesh M Shivaprasad and Danish Ali standing aside. Terenure had made 2 changes from the side that had defeated Rush, with Australian pace bowler Mark Thomas and Sid Nair coming in for Michael Cotter and Liam Harris.

It was no surprise therefore, with Thomas in the side, when on winning the toss, Terenure captain Donal Lynch inserted County Galway.

The overcast conditions and some superb pace bowling by Thomas and Zubair Khan meant it was tough going early on. The Galway openers, Mahon and Nasim had struggled through to 2/0 after 6, when Mahon finally got his bat on one off Thomas first ball of the 7th over, to be snaffled at slip by Kenny McDonald for 0. Viswanath and Nasim took it to 11 off 11 overs, successfully seeing off Thomas and Khan.

Tukrel came on for Khan, Sharland for Thomas. Sharlands first released the shackles slightly as he struggled to find his line but following his first, he settled in nicely to bowl 10 on the trot without reward. (0/35) Tukrel at the other end had it on a string, bowling 4 maidens in his first spell of 5 overs, dismissing Viswanath in the process, caught by Sid Nair, making it 26/2.

Nasim was clearly struggling, having been hit on the back of the neck by a Khan bouncer. He was joined now at the crease by Galway skipper Conor Mullen who appeared to advise him to go off. This he did, and Ramnathpur came to the crease. It was still tough going, and by the time Mullen was dismissed LBW to Safi the score had only reached 42 off 23 overs. With 3 out and one retired hurt, Terenure were in the box seat.

Ramnathpur and Farman however set about the re-building job, Ramnathpur in particularly batting beautifully. The 2 took it to 95/3 in the 35th over, when Farman was dismissed by McDonald. At this stage Nasim came back in for an eventful second spell at the crease. He hit Safi for 6, then drove one hard and straight back at the bowler, who got a hand on it, running out the unlucky Ramnathpur at the non-strikers end, a very unfortunate way to be dismissed having made a fine 36. Next ball Nasim popped one up to Khan at mid-wicket and all of a sudden, the rebuilding job Galway had done was in danger of proving fruitless, at 107/6.

Galav(40*) and Ramgokul (16) however counter attacked, seeing attack as the best form of defence, dispatching Khan in particular to all areas of the ground. Verma (15*) continued were Ramgokul left off and just when they looked like getting away from Terenure the rains came. After a break for tea, the innings resumed, but the momentum had been lost, Galway finishing with a decent if slightly below par 181/8.

Safi (3/36), Tukrel (2/10) and Thomas (1/20) had bowled particularly well for Terenure, with Ramnathpur and Galav batting particularly well for Galway.

Lynch and Wicks opened the reply for Terenure, with Verma and Sumit opening the bowling. Wicks in particular was looking good early doors, striking the ball nicely. Verma was struggling, and extras were undermining the Galway effort. However once Ramnathpur came on, Sumit and he tightened things up. 6 tight overs led to Wicks losing patience, popping it up to Ramnathpur for 19, making it 46/1.

Kenny McDonald had been promoted to 3. He didnít look comfortable and soon followed Wicks back to the pavilion for 4, bowled Sumit, (2/27) making it 53/2.

Donal Lynch came in next, joining his brother Seamus at the crease. Sumit had been seen off, and Ramnathpur came off, Galway holding 3 of his overs back for later. The Lynch brothers took the attack to the change bowlers Galav and Ramgokul, bringing the score to 91 at drinks. It was now the demon drinks struck, Farman taking a superb one handed caught and bowled off Donal Lynch (17) diving to his right. Nair came and went, caught one handed by Khizar off Viswanath. (94/4). It was squeaky bum time. The game was in the balance and the Galway fans and players knew it. One more now and they would be favourites.

That one didnít come though. Lynch batted beautifully, Vaughan with dogged determination acting as the perfect foil for him. As Vaughan hit 13 singles in his 13 not out, Lynch opened up, hitting all the other Galway bowlers to all areas of the ground, while intelligently seeing off Ramnathpurs last 3 overs. With 8 needed, Lynch launched Galav into the houses, bringing up his ton as he did, and finished off the game in the next over, finishing 105*. A wonderful knock by a wonderful young man, the first of many senior tons one suspects. The boy from 2014 has done good.

Next up for Galway is a trip to Balbriggan on Saturday. For Terenure, itís a top of the table clash with Railway at home on Bank Holiday Monday