Wicklow 2nds put Malahide into bat on an afternoon that felt more like mid-July than the first of September. Malahide's innings began brightly with a classy 32 from Matthew Jeffrey-Carrick which included six 4s, among them a lovely straight drive down the ground. When Matthew fell to a sharp catch at gully with the score on 36, Shamil Kootembeth came to the crease and made his intentions clear from the outset. A belligerent 28 could and should have been more but for a rush of blood just before drinks. At 77 for 2, with Graeme Tarbox defending doggedly, the stage was set to accelerate the scoring in the second 20 overs. Unfortunately it was not to be. Wicklow's bowlers took control and Malahide wickets fell to a combination of pressure and reckless shots. We finished on 157 for 8 with Graeme carrying his bat on 49 not out.
On a docile strip with a fast outfield Malahide needed to make early inroads. Eoghan Keohane's swinging, attacking opening spell netted him two wickets in his first five overs, leaving Wicklow on 14 for 2. For his second wicket Eoghan found an outside edge and the ball flew like a missile to Adam Doyle who took one of the finest slip catches you'll ever see.
But the joy was short lived as Wicklow came back into the game with a third-wicket partnership of 76. Dan Read and Oliver Manks toiled valiantly for no reward, but it was Bala Vasudevan who eventually made the breakthrough. Hopes rose again when after a below-par first spell, Matthew took a wicket in the first over of his second. That was to be the last moment of celebration for Malahide and Wicklow's sixth-wicket pair saw them home with just over six overs to spare.
On sober reflection we failed to press home our early advantage when batting and our bowling, with the exception of Eoghan, lacked penetration. But we didn't let our heads sink, Paul Devine's superb ground fielding epitomising Malahide's efforts. It just goes to show, though, that a week can be a long time in cricket.
Thanks to Adam for subbing and for Brian and Graeme for taking over the captaincy duties.