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West Indies legends pass on some valuable tips

THE ‘real’ World Cup final takes place today in Bridgetown, Barbados.
With all hope of a semi-final slot gone, Ireland will be hoping to
overcome Bangladesh and claim seventh place in the Super Eights.

Besides the opportunity to further enhance Ireland’s cricketing reputation, there
is the not inconsiderable sum of an extra $50,000 to consider for
climbing one place up the ladder.

Ireland received a useful boost yesterday when former West Indies legend
Joel Garner came along to the ground and asked to meet Boyd Rankin. The pair had a conversation and the Bready bowler was greatly
encouraged by Garner’s words.

Other Bajan legends sought out the Irish players, including Henderson
Wallace, formerly of Eglinton, Leinster and several others, who helped
out at practice and had some observations for the bowlers. Kendrick
Marshall – the former Donemana professional, now a Barbados policeman,
met up with William Porterfield whom he coached as a young boy.

The Irish squad have been busy these last few days opening the thousands
of letters that eventually arrived via Jamaica and Guyana from An Post.
The players were delighted to receive the mail from all over the country,
including many from schools in counties such as Kerry, Wexford, Louth and
Donegal that are not obviously cricket hotbeds.

Some of the bodies that sent their congratulations and good wishes were the IRFU, Dublin City
Council, Fingal Council, Bray Wanderers and the Special Olympics squad.
An Post are particularly proud of their employee Kenny Carroll, who may
have got the chance to discuss techniques with fellow postie Brad Hogg of
Australia.

Here’s a teaser. What is the significance of the numbers 0, 7, 3, 6, 0,
5, 2? The telephone number for the new national cricket stadium in
Donegal? Roy Torrens’ overdraft after the World Cup? Actually, and not
very amusingly at all, it’s the sequence of opening partnerships Jeremy Bray and Will Porterfield have put together since this tournament began.
It would be nice to hit double – or triple – figures today.

The exploits in the Caribbean gave a great boost to clubs hosting Easter
camps for schoolchildren last week. None more than in Malahide, where 190
boys and girls aged from 6 to 13 turned up from Tuesday to Friday for the
camp run by Brian Gilmore.

There were 125 children aged up to 9 and 65 in
the older group. Former Ireland captains Dougie Goodwin and Miriam Grealy
handed out the prizes at a standing room- only award ceremony on Friday
evening.

There were some whose thoughts would have been elsewhere at the time –
participants included Adi Birrell’s son Luke (8) and Eoin Morgan’s
brother Evan (13). And sister Gwen Morgan (17) was one of the coaches.

The new senior captains in Leinster for this season are as follows:
Clontarf: Greg Molins, Civil Service: Owen Butler, CYM: Mike Baumgart,
Dublin University: Mark Raftery-Skehan, The Hills: Joseph Clinton,
Leinster: Will Lennon, Malahide: Mike O’Brien, Merrion: Dominick Joyce,
Munster Reds: Wilf Bracegirdle, North County: Dara Armstrong, Old
Belvedere:
Peter (‘George’) O’Donnell, Pembroke: Bill Whaley, Phoenix:
Dave Langford-Smith, Railway Union: John Moffatt, Rush: Bríain O’Rourke,
YMCA: Simon Wilson-Moore.
All bar Lennon, Armstrong, O’Donnell, Langford-Smith and O’Rourke are new
to the job.

The three winners of the ‘Penguins Stopped Play’ competition, who guessed
nearest to Ireland’s total of 132 against New Zealand, were: Mary Mackey,
Clontarf; David Fassbender, Sandymount; and Brian O’Neill, Dun Laoghaire.
Each receives a copy of Harry Thompson’s hilarious book.

More timely coverage of cricket on RTE radio tonight (9pm) when
‘Spectrum’ reports on the multi-national nature of the game in Dublin.

To help raise funds for a St Conleth’s College transition year trip to
India to help build an orphanage, two of Ireland’s match winners have
signed the ICC match scorecards from the group games.

Jeremy Bray has signed the scoresheet from the tie with Zimbabwe and Niall O’Brien for
the win over Pakistan. With a programme thrown in for each of the games,
these would look wonderful framed on a home or clubhouse wall. Auction
bids are invited to gsiggins (at) tribune.ie