Rush tie up the Clontarf all-stars


Cricket: There was a rare tie on Saturday as Rush put down a marker for the season by earning a share of the points with a star-studded Clontarf team.

Having assembled a pretty formidable side of their own this season, Rush look like they will be competitive against the very best without having to be overly reliant on Naseer Shoukat and Sadat Gull.

Niall Mullen took 4-42 as Rush restricted Clontarf to 153 off a rain-reduced 35 overs. Jeremy Bray top-scored for the visitors with 88. In reply, Brían O'Rourke hit 40 and Shoukat 36 as Rush got to the same score in the overs allowed.

Meanwhile, at Terenure the talk was of Ireland's soon-to-be newest international, Johan Botha, who had just flown in from South Africa to play for Malahide in the 45 Overs League. He will travel to Belfast to play for Ireland against Yorkshire in the C&G Trophy tomorrow as an overseas player and one hopes his batting display on Saturday was merely a blip by a player fatigued after a long flight.

Botha scratched around unimpressively for a few overs, making four runs before he was caught down the leg side by Rory Flanagan off the bowling of Fergal Hoey, one of five wickets for the medium pacer. He was to get his own back on Flanagan later on, though, running him out with a fine piece of fielding early in the CYM innings. Despite being hit for two fours in his first over, Botha settled down well to a good spell of off-spin bowling on the mat, ending up with figures of 4-29 off his nine overs.

CYM fell 76 runs short of Malahide's total and the following day lost by nine wickets to North County at Inch, effectively ruling out any chance of progressing to the knock-out stages.

Elsewhere, Merrion and YMCA progressed to the first round proper of the Irish Senior Cup with easy victories over Old Belvedere and Leinster respectively.

Leinster also lost in the 45 Overs League on Saturday to Pembroke, and The Hills beat Railway Union in the same competition yesterday. In the league today, Leinster host Old Belvedere while Merrion travel to Castle Avenue to take on Clontarf.