Belfast Telegraph

Sunday 28 December 2014

Davy Munn simply bowled over by Roy Silva

Record books: Roy Silva hit a remarkable 36 sixes and 14 fours en route to a 295 not out against Cliftonville
Record books: Roy Silva hit a remarkable 36 sixes and 14 fours en route to a 295 not out against Cliftonville

Cliftonville head to Killyclooney on Sunday for their RSA National Cup quarter-final, with vivid memories of their last venture to the North West. That was just 10 days ago when Glendermott professional Roy Silva broke every batting record in the book, scoring an astonishing 295 not out in the Ulster Shield in his side's 462 for four. But what was it like to be on the receiving end?

For Davy Munn, the Cliftonville all-rounder, it was a particularly chastening experience as he also ended up in the record books, joining the elite list of bowlers who have been hit for six sixes in an over.

"I remember speaking to the skipper and asking him where we were going to bowl at him. He was around 140 at the time, so he was 'well in'," said Munn.

"So, first up we went for the wide one on the tramline, which went for six over extra cover. Then I tried to float one up and that went over mid-wicket.

"Next one, I tried to bowl a bit quicker, which went into the school. Then I went wide again and that went over long off for six, then I tried to spear one in but that went over long-on for six.

"I was fearing the worst after three balls so by the time I got to the last, I wanted to underarm it but didn't think that would be in the spirit of the game and that went to cow corner.

"There was really one bad ball in the six so I have to hold my hands up, he is a class act.

"He had already hit a couple of double hundreds in T20 games in Florida and apparently had hit six sixes in an over before as well."

The batsman himself said: "After the first few sixes, I felt very good and said I will get big runs today."

Almost forgotten on the day because of Silva's phenomenal innings was Cliftonville professional Avadhoot Dandekar's 149.

"He's a proper cricketer," said captain Brian Anderson. "He hit only one shot in the air in that innings, his only six."

Unfortunately for Cliftonville, he could have already played his last match for the club because he headed back to India after that game for a job interview, and if he gets that he will not be returning.

"It will be a big blow," admits Anderson, "because he has already scored over 800 runs with four centuries, including a 199, but it will give others a chance."

And that process is already under way because Cliftonville bounced back from the Glendermott horror with back-to-back Section One league wins at the weekend, over Dundrum and Downpatrick with Munn, who also opens the batting, top scoring with 44 and 58 not out.

"At the start of the season I was hoping for two good cup runs in the Ulster Shield and National Cup," says Anderson.

"Silva finished our hopes in the Shield but if we get to the semi-final or final in the National Cup and finish same position as last year in the league, fifth, I would be happy."

"We're not ready for the Premier League. The likes of myself and Michael Turkington are the wrong side of 40.

"We need a few of the young lads to come through. They are going to get opportunities."

Since being forced out of their original ground on the Cliftonville Road in Belfast in 1972, the club have been at Mallusk and Greenisland.

For the last five years, back at Mallusk, they rely on the Belfast City Council groundstaff and people like Billy Thompson, who is at the pitch from 9.30am on match days preparing the ground.

"We would be lost without Gerry (the groundsman) and Billy. As long as everyone is enjoying themselves, we will soldier on," adds Anderson.

Even when they concede 462 in 40 overs.

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