CRICKET NEWS

The Kerryman (North Kerry) - - SPORT -

Mick Jones

AF­TER a thor­oughly ex­cit­ing year, which in­cluded the of­fi­cial open­ing of the Oys­ter Oval at Spa against the MCC, there may be a few jan­gling nerves at Kerry County Cricket Club as the sea­son draws to a close.

And Kerry CCC are get­ting no help from the un­pre­dictable Septem­ber weather. Of the five matches sched­uled for the last two week­ends, only one has been played, three were vic­tims of heavy rain, the fourth un­played match was a con­ces­sion from Cork Har­lequins Se­nior squad who de­cided not to travel on Satur­day; that for­feit hands Kerry se­niors 20 cru­cial points, but the King­dom squad re­main a few points be­hind Lim­er­ick in the Mun­ster Pre­miere Di­vi­sion stand­ings ta­ble.

Kerry Se­niors face Galway next week­end - whilst Lim­er­ick will host Har­lequins; and in an at­tempt to res­cue a match lost to rain ear­lier in the sea­son, Mun­ster Cricket has ar­ranged for Lim­er­ick to face Kerry on the 24th Septem­ber. This raises the in­ter­est­ing pos­si­bil­ity that if Kerry and Lim­er­ick both win their next matches, that fi­nal match of the sea­son could just pro­vide the win­ner with enough points to take the Mun­ster Cricket Premier Di­vi­sion cham­pi­onship away from Cork County. Were that to hap­pen, it would be one of the big­gest shocks in Mun­ster cricket in a very long time.

Kerry Sec­onds have fin­ished their Mun­ster Di­vi­sion 1 cam­paign fourth in a league of five, slightly dis­ap­point­ing, but one step up from last year. Lim­er­ick take the Mun­ster Di­vi­sion 1 ti­tle, con­grat­u­la­tions to them; in­deed they have a num­ber of en­cour­ag­ingly strong young crick­eters, they are de­vel­op­ing a strong work ethic and thor­oughly de­serve their sil­ver­ware.

In their fi­nal match of the 2017 sea­son, Kerry 3rds missed the op­por­tu­nity to seal the Di­vi­sion 2 cham­pi­onship, los­ing to Tip­per­ary 2nds on Sun­day. Tip­per­ary, now placed sec­ond on 195 points, have one more match to play; next week­end they face UCC who have been well off the pace in re­cent matches. So, 2016 ti­tle hold­ers Kerry (cur­rently sit­ting top of the ta­ble on 205) could cling on to that par­tic­u­lar piece of sil­ver­ware if Tip­per­ary lose to UCC, whereas an aban­don­ment would pro­vide Tip­per­ary with 10 points to take them level with Kerry, and of course, there’s a third pos­si­bil­ity…

At Bal­lyeighan on Sun­day, Tip­per­ary fielded first and re­stricted the visi­tors to an un­der­whelm­ing 104 for 9 off their full 40 overs; by some dis­tance the squads low­est score of the sea­son. Mu­rad top scored with 19 and Awais chipped in with 17, but it was the Tip­per­ary bowl­ing that ruled the roost, led by Praveen who fin­ished with 3 wick­ets for 10 runs. The home team were in no mood to miss out on a golden op­por­tu­nity to take the vi­tal 20 points that would edge them closer to steal­ing the Mun­ster Di­vi­sion 2 crown from the King­dom squad and eased pass the tar­get for the loss of just one wicket.

Kerry 3rds, 104 for 9 (Mu­rad 19 - Praveen 3-10) lost to Tip­per­ary 2nds, 105 for 1 - (Hari 41 - Rich Rut­land 1-25).

Fix­ture: Sun­day, Sept 17 - Mun­ster Premier Di­vi­sion: Kerry 1sts v Galway 1sts in Oys­ter Oval

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