IT WOULD SEEM like winning is a happy habit for the Leinster rugby players.
A team including the likes of Rob Kearney, Isaac Boss and Isa Nacewa took on an Ireland Cricket XI in a charity match on Friday and beat them by over 70 runs.
Leinster Rugby were the inaugural winners of ‘Battle of the Big Hitters’, at Pembroke Cricket Club, and helped raise in excess of €20,000 for Spinal Injuries Ireland.
More than 1,000 fans packed into the Sydney Parade grounds in Sandymount and soaked up the sun, making a rare summer appearance, as the rugby stars padded up for their turn at bat.
Nacewa, Boss and Kearney were joined for stints in the middle by teammates Tom Sexton, Leo Auva’a, Ian Madigan, Jack McGrath, Aaron Dundon and Jordi Murphy.
Andre Botha and rugby referee Alan Lewis guested for Leinster, with the latter having the dubious honour of being clean bowled by Irish bowler Kim Garth.
The Leinster team were cheered on by a huge number of colleagues from the squad,such as Leo Cullen, Gordon D’Arcy, Shane Jennings and Jonathan Sexton.
They posted an outstanding 202 from their 21 overs, with seven pairs batting three overs each.
The Cricket Ireland XI generously added 100 to the total they needed to chase.
However, they would soon egret their benevolent streak as Leinster fielded eagerly and bowled a couple of tight spells in the crucial, middle overs.
It took some lusty blows from the likes of Ireland national coach Phil Simmons, Trent Johnston, Kevin O’Brien and John Mooney to give Ireland a chance.
Nonetheless, Leinster, as they have done so often over the last few seasons, closed the game out to run out winners by 70 runs.
Rob Kearney bowling with shades on. Confident chap. (©INPHO/Cathal Noonan)
Aaron Dundon was named man of the match for his cavalier, left-handed hitting towards the end of the Leinster innings in.
Leinster Rugby thanked all involved in organising the event including ‘everyone at Pembroke Cricket Club, Spinal Injuries Ireland, Conor Hoey and all the volunteers, sponsors and organisers’.
For more information on Spinal Injuries Ireland, check www.spinalinjuries.ie