CUS bowler David O’Halloran produced a remarkable hat-trick amid a five wicket haul in the Leinster School’s Senior Cup final to take the laurels by 105 runs ahead of Blackrock College.
It came a year and a day since his player of the match performance against St Andrew’s in the 2018 final as O’Halloran bowled the Leeson Street side to victory as they comfortably defended what at half-time had seemed a perhaps below par score.
Nathan McGuire (36) got the CUS innings off to a flyer but Blackrock, appearing in their first final for over 50 years, are nothing if not gritty and they dug in for the fight.
Cillian McDonnell (2-27), bowling ten overs on the bounce, slowed the run rate and experienced campaigners Gavin Hoey (2-44) and JJ Garth (3-32) ensured wickets fell at regular intervals.
Neil Rock and O’Halloran fell cheaply and it was left to Andrew Tonge to be the only other CUS batsman to pass 20 as they made 157/9 off their 40 overs, having been 37/0 after just six.
McGuire opened the bowling as well as the batting and looked consistently threatening as his ten overs went for just 25 runs and he snagged two wickets.
Both Blackrock openers fell to sloppy run outs trying to steal a single to square leg, before the O’Halloran show began.
His first two wickets required catches to complete the fall, however his hat-trick was all bowled. A joy to behold as line, length and pace were too much for the middle order on this day.
“You never expect to take a hat-trick in a final, so I’m delighted it happened today,” said O’Halloran after the game.
“I don’t feel any extra pressure being a club player playing for the school because there’s always someone else who can step up on any day. I’ve just been lucky it’s been me the last two years.”
It fell to O’Halloran’s clubmate Zak Oliver-Woods to take the final wicket as CUS completed the victory in 20 of the 40 permitted overs.