A historic weekend for County Kerry, as not only their Senior team won the club’s first ever All Rounder Munster Senior Cup, winning the final at the third attempt, but their Junior side also captured the Munster Junior Cup.
That both final wins came against Cork Harlequins was a tough blow for the Farmer’s Hill outfit, but with the leagues still very much alive, Quins will hope to secure silverware in 2018 yet.
In the Senior event Cork Harlequins batted first, and a fantastic innings from Munster Reds coach Ted Williamson god the Cork side up-and-running, with youngster Matthew Brewster alongside Quins moved to 50 without loss, and when Brewster was bowled by Yaqoob Ali, and next man Mustak Mardan lasted just seven balls before being caught by Owais Saghir off Ali’s bowling, the efficient Williamson/Ruadhan Jones partnership came to the middle.
Both kept ticking the scoreboard over, taking the Cork side past the 100 mark, before Kashif Khan had Jones caught by Bilal Alam for 33, and Kieran O’Reilly could only make four runs before Saghir made his second catch, Khan with his second wicket.
A brilliant 44th over by Khurum Iqbal saw Williamson was finally bowled by for 75 off 120, and Senan Jones follow the ball later for a golden duck, Quins were still short of 200 with only five overs left.
A spate of late wickets, with Zuhair Shah’s useful cameo of 21 ended with him nicking behind off Khan’s bowling - who finished with figures of 4-32 off 10 overs - saw Cork Harlequins finish on 207 all-out, enough to make a contest, but a score that really put Kerry in the driving seat.
And to the Kingdom outfit’s immense credit, they went about the job with professionalism, keeping wickets in hand while also scoring at a good meter. At no stage in the chase did it look like Kerry were in serious danger of letting it slip, particularly the third wicket partnership between Khuram Iqbal, who finished on 73, and Arslan Anwar, who was there until the end on 58, which added 64 runs to the total.
Qassim Butt hit a few big shots as Kerry reached the end, and despite being caught by Senan Jones off Mardan - who finished Quins’ top bowler with three wickets for 47 runs - there was no late wobbles, as Kerry came through, winning by four wickets with seven balls left to spare.
Having fallen at the final hurdle in 2002 and 2015, this was a special day for the side who are continuing to develop their facility at the Oyster Oval, capping off a fantastic weekend for the club.