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Cork Harlequins Win the Munster Premier t20 & Head to the All Ireland

For the second year running, the Munster Premier T20 League lived up to its competitive billing and went to the wire, Cork Harlequins retaining the title on the last ball of 15th & last match of the championship by virtue of a head to head record against local rivals Cork County.

This year saw the round robin league format retained, with debutants UCC replacing Midleton, to join Kerry, Limerick, Galway, County & Harlequins, across three Sundays of festival cricket.

Round 1 saw the weather intervene with all six matches washed out. This in reality added to the subsequent drama as with no games refixed the pressure was on to grab as many percentage bonus points as possible.

Round 2 had four matches split between Adare and Mardyke. 

Limerick opened their campaign with a 4 wicket win over Kerry who had scored 159/8 off their 20 overs. In tune with the nature of the competition, Kerry then bounced back scoring 120 off 14 overs to close out an 8 wicket victory over Galway.

Down to Cork and as County hosted Harlequins in their respective opening games and the title was decided in a close, tense low scoring encounter as the visitors closed out victory by 16 runs.

This left the day’s action to be concluded with County brushing UCC to one side with a comprehensive 9 wicket victory. County’s Muhammad Saddique taking a record 7 for 7 from his 4 over.

Round 3 had five games in three Cork grounds on Sunday the 10th of July with all five teams still with a theoretical chance of the title, County were on top of the table.

First game of the day at The Farm and hosts UCC drop out of the equation after a 77 loss to Galway who gained valuable bonus points on the leaders.

Up the airport hill at Farmers Cross and Harlequins take on Limerick, with both teams needing a win. Both teams attacked from the start in a high scoring game with Quins 181/6 being enough to win by 20 runs & Limerick needing Kerry to win big in the next game against County.

Game three, the Mardyke. County just needs to win. A pressure match ensured it was never going to be a high scoring game but the home side closed it out with 128/2 to win by 8 wickets and max the points.

Before the competition decider, Limerick played UCC at the farm and both sides released of pressure served up the highest scoring game of the competition with Limericks 217 delivering a 72 run victory.

The final game of the competition, Galway v Harlequins. Galway batted first and in a competitive innings made 138/9. In a replay of the first innings the batters never got on top but never got behind.  The target slowly reigned in until the last ball, Kruger & O’Reilly needing 1! Kruger bundles the ball to short extra, batters scramble home. Hands are shaken, a tie. With this result Cork Harlequins see themselves through to the All-Ireland T20 semi finals as Munsters representatives.

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