Monday 10th July 2017


 Pembroke cc V North Down cc at Sydney Parade 9th July


It was always going to be a difficult task in this Bob Kerr Irish Cup quarter final. Like most of the Dublin area clubs, Pembroke had strength throughout the side and a key International in Andrew Balbirnie. Marty Moreland won the toss and Pembroke batted well from the start and 111 runs were on the board before F. Tucker was caught by Peter Davison off Stuart Nelson’s bowling for 46. It was the other opening batsman, Andrew Balbirnie, who caused the visitors a major problem and his 122 came off 117 balls before Davison held another catch off Marty Moreland’s bowling. His was the fourth wicket to fall but 237 runs had been scored and plenty of overs remained.L Tucker (45) and C Mullen (28) put the ‘icing on the cake’ and the total of 301 was huge. Ruan Pretorius took 3 for 51 and Moreland 2 for 61 with Nelson and Davison picking up a wicket each.

 The hill to climb was mountainous by the time the 3rd wicket fell on 27 with Danny Graham (0), Ali Shields (11) and Nathan Burns (9) back in the pavilion. Pretorius (19) was the only realistic chance of a recovery but he was adjudged lbw and Neil Russell (22) fell soon after and at 78 for 5 it looked like a struggle to score 150.

Enter the enigmatic and hugely talented Peter Eakin who hit 8 fours and 4 sixes in a sparkling 71 ball 90. The richly deserved century was not to be, but he had given the visitors a glimpse of the semis and certainly banished any humiliating defeat. However the 77 run victory for Pembroke was emphatic and North Down would wish them good luck in the semi against Waringstown, Instonians or The Hills.




Report from Sydney Parade from Scott Irvine

North Down made the trip to heavily fancied Pembroke for their Irish Cup quarter final tie and having won the toss, invited the home side to bat first.  Irish International Andrew Balbirnie along with Fiachra Tucker made an excellent start, Balbirnie in particular making light work of anything loose from the visitors’ bowlers. The breakthrough finally came with the score on 111, when Tucker (46) pulled Nelson out to Davison at deep square leg. North Down regained a little more control through the middle as Davison had Cuttler (10) caught behind and Pretorius trapped Lawson (0) LBW in the next over. Fellow Irish International Lorcan Tucker joined Balbirnie, the two players taking the score onto 237 before the latter attempted a big shot off Moreland and found the safe hands of Davison at long on. Balbirnie eased to 122 from 117 balls (11 fours and 3 sixes) and formed the backbone of the Pembroke innings, but when Tucker (45) fell to Eakin just balls later, the final few overs became a very different proposition. Both Mullen (28) and Hopkins (8) where victims of run outs during the final burst, with Moreland accounting for Jack Balbirnie (8) and Pretorius finishing the innings well, picking up both Hoey (4) and Paul Lawson (6). When Balbirnie and Tucker were going well, a score in excess of 320 was on the cards, but the visitors juggled their bowlers and fought back well to keep Pembroke to 301 from their 50 overs.

In reply, North Down stuttered during the first 10 overs. David Murphy picked up the first two as Danny Graham (0) found Balbirnie at point, before in-form batsman Ally Shields (11) got an edge through to Lorcan Tucker. Nathan Burns (9) followed shortly after to leaving the visitors in a spot of trouble at 27 for 3. Brief counter attacks from Pretorius (19) and Russell (22) couldn’t swing momentum North Down’s way as Jack Balbirnie picked up the first 2 of his 4 wickets – Pretorius adjudged LBW and Russell picking out Hoey at long off. Nelson (2) edged Balbirnie through to Tucker, Robinson (19) went LBW to Lawson and Davison (4) was brilliantly caught at midwicket by Hopkins, leaving the visiting side reeling on 139 for 8. As captain Marty Moreland joined the dangerous Eakin, few expected what was to follow. Eakin launched a severe counter attack, scoring 90 from just 71 balls (8 fours and 4 sixes) before unselfishly falling just 10 short of what would have been a hugely deserved century, finding the hands of Paul Lawson at long off. When last man Carson (2) was bowled by Hoey, a defiant Marty Moreland was left stranded on 21 and the visitors were dismissed for 225 with 10.2 overs still remaining. Pembroke deserved to progress, with Eakin’s brilliance not able to rescue his side that had lost 8 wickets before the half way point in the innings.

 Pembroke (301/10 – A. Balbirnie 122, F. Tucker 46, L. Tucker 45. Pretorius 3/51, Moreland 2/62)

North Down (225/10 – Eakin 90, Moreland 21*. J. Balbirnie 4/61, Murphy 2/34)

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