This fortnight of weekend cricket, has been the culmination of the Munster Cups, with some significant firsts achieved in the competitions and the finals being live streamed by Clubsportscast TV for Munster.
Due to the pandemic the cups were suspended for two years and their return has brought with it a program of the finals being hosted across the province in new locations and new teams competing for the first time.
Minor Cup – The Dennis MacKintosh
The final took place for the first time in its 20 year history on Sunday 31st July, at Castlelands Cricket Grounds, Lismore.
The Minor Cup has the shortest history of the Munster Cups, having been first contested in 2002. The actual trophy was donated by the MacKintosh family in memory of Dennis who was a member of Lismore CC and is credited with others as having kept the club going in the late 90’s. It is a fitting tribute to his memory that twenty years later his cup will be presented at the home of this historic club. Since its inauguration there have been 18 winners from 9 different clubs.
In the cup’s history only one side, Lismore have successfully defended the title for two in a row. The current holders & 3 time winners, Harlequins were hoping to emulate that on Sunday with the challengers, Waterford, will be looking to make their own history and add WDCC onto the trophy.
Waterford batting first made the best of the conditions on a typically difficult Lismore track, their top order accumulating runs under good bowling from the quins attack. Wickets fell at regular intervals to keep Harlequins in touch but in the end it was a professional batting performance from The Déise side, who finished the 40 overs on 130/8. The stand out performer with the bat was Anbazhagen Aroument who grafted out 40 runs off 113 balls in what turned out to be the player of the match performance. Anbu was well supported by camoes from Karthik Manairaas, Rashid Kahlily & Nijanthan Jagadeesan. For the bowlers Zain Hafeez led with 8 overs 3/21, ably supported by Sharad Jaybhaye and Jaitin Jaitley with two wickets each. A mention for Chris De Jager who took a stunning diving catch of the season running from long on to long off.
In reply, Harlequins struggled to get going losing key wickets in difficult conditions as the Waterford bowlers led by Ben Martin applied huge pressure to bowl the 2019 winners out for 54 in the 19th over. Ben’s figures, 8 overs 4/14. He was supported by 3 wickets for Rashid Kahily and to cap his excellent day, 2 for Anbu. Quins Merrill Kahapola made 15.
2022 Minor Cup stats: 10 matches, 2,158 runs, 120 wickets at an average of 18.
Junior Cup – The Percy Harris
The final took place in damp conditions on Saturday 30th July, for the first time at Townparks, Midleton.
The Junior Cup has the longest history of the Munster Cups, having run continuously (until the pandemic) since 1962. In that season A Percy Harris donated & presented the cup to Tramore CC. Percy had a long and illustrious connection with Munster & Irish Cricket. As the Hon. Secretary of Cahir Park CC, he was a founder member of the MCU in 1955 and served Club and Union for many years. In 1972 Percy became the President of the Irish Cricket Union.
In the 59 seasons 16 clubs from all counties of Munster Cricket Union are engraved on the trophy.
On Saturday current holders Midleton were looking to retain the cup and match the challengers Kerry’s three Junior Cup titles.
The Forecast had the umpires looking at bowl-out regulations but the rain held off long enough to get a game in with the result being decided by DLS.
Kerry batted first in difficult conditions where no batter really got going, the innings concluded, all out for 125 off 37 overs. Top score was Qassim Butt 29, supported by Syed Owais 18 & Shoaib Chohan 17. The pick of the bowling for Midleton, Jose George, 6 overs 4/11.
The second innings commenced in rapidly deteriorating conditions as the rain moved in. The innings was split up by interruptions and the Midleton batters faced a similar close attritional game, with three getting into double figures but not pushing on.. In the end the rain won out concluding matters with the home side 62/8 off 25. The game resulted in Kerry taking the title by DLS.
Junior Cup Stats: A weather affected competition, only 5 games. 2,285 runs, 119 wickets at an average of 19.2.
Senior Cup – The Chris Fellowes Cup
The final is due to be held Sunday week on the 7th August at The Richard Beamish Grounds, Mardyke, Cork. Cork Harlequins 1st will take on Galway 1st.
The Chris Fellowes is the Premier Munster Cup having been contested since 1978. The competition was originally known as the Bank of Ireland Munster Senior Cup and the actual trophy played for today is a replacement from 2009, the original having been temporarily lost for several years. The BOI cup was renamed in 1981 in memory of Chris Fellowes. Chris was a stalwart of Limerick Cricket and he played in the 1980 final against Wanderers. During that match he suffered symptoms of the onset of serious illness and tragically he died later that year in his early 30’s.
On Sunday week two times winners Galway will be looking to end a six year wait for the title. Four times winners Harlequins last won the cup in 2011.