Midleton’s hopes of MCU Junior Cup success came to a crashing end at the Cricket Field on Saturday, as Limerick stormed home to a five-wicket semi-final victory.
Midleton opened the batting and found the Limerick bowlers to be in mean form, restricting openers Simon Casey and Dean Wilson to a mere 19 runs from the first six overs. Kahn, who would eventually go on to post figures of 1/12 from his 9 overs, struck first taking the wicket of Casey for 8, before Wilson followed shortly afterward from McGrath’s bowling. Just as Rob Smyth and Kieran O’Reilly seemed to be motoring, O’Reilly fell to an unfortunate LBW as his bat caught his pad. Majid Kahn then expertly played himself in with some fine, patient batting, but Midleton’s rhythm was continually interrupted by some precise Limerick bowling. Majid kept things ticking over, but one by one Midleton’s wickets began to fall, despite some good shots by Smyth (22), Andrew Levis (13), and Kashif Kahn (12). Once Magid finally fell for 72 off of Singh’s bowling, the tail fell to pieces in a most dramatic fashion, with Mohammadi’s dismissal, which was marred by a passing defecating dog, indicative of the innings as a whole.
Limerick’s response was devastating, with openers Mohammed Gouse and Sufyan Kahn quickly causing damage. Midleton used eight bowlers in total, but rarely threatened the visitors as the runs piled up. O’Reilly took 2 wickets, Gammell, Wilson, and Magid one each, but the visitors soon reached their target of 195 from just 30.4 overs.