Cold May weather sees season reach silly point


BILLY CONNOLLY got it just about right on The Late Late Show a couple of weeks ago. All this talk about dolphins off the coast of Kerry signifying another long, hot summer is loopy. Yesterday at Terenure must have been the coldest, wettest mid-May afternoon of the century and most of it was spent in the bar watching the motorsport from Monaco.

Glen Prouten, Old Belvedere's Australian professional and accustomed to a different sort of climate, couldn't believe that we were even going to hang around to see if things improved. Eventually, the umpires agreed and after tea, we headed off. Cricket just couldn't be played in such skin-shrivelling conditions.

Sure enough, the news filtered through from Castle Avenue and Milverton that play had been abandoned for the day. Remarkably though, the NCU and Munster captains decided to try a 10-over game of what amounted to aqua-cricket on the artificial wicket at Rathmines. No joke.

With only four games for each of the sides in the AIB interprovincials, it's understandable that either side would wish to go for whatever points were on offer, but this was verging on the farcical. Umpires and fielders were in a state of constant motion - jogging on the spot, swinging their arms - all in an attempt to avoid the onset of pneumonia or hypothermia.

After they've thawed out, the NCU boys will be glad with their decision to play, as they came away with ten points to show for their efforts. Chasing Munster's 82 for 5 turned out to be a relatively easy task after Bruce Topping's 29 in 10 balls. The Lisburn keeper pulled three sixes to the short mid-wicket boundary in one over off the unfortunate John Power.

It had been a little different the day before, as the spinners dominated both interprovincial contests. Leinster were in control against NCU, scoring at four an over for the first third of their innings, before Garfield Harrison and Neil Doak baffled the middle order with line and length. Shane Harrison took a more positive attitude to help the visitors win by the 37th over.

Earlier, former international Charlie McCrum had walked out before the beginning of the NCU game with Leinster. Apparently, he was disappointed with the news that he would not hat higher than six in the NCU order.