Aaron Cawley pictured in with the trophy following Ireland's successful U19 world cup qualifying campaign. Photo: courtesy of Barry Chambers (Cricket Europe).
It is fair to say that when it comes to sport Tipperary men and women have earned a reputation for leaving it all on the field. And, true to that spirit on Monday, July 31st Horse & Jockey man Aaron Cawley featured on the Irish under-19 cricket team which faced Scotland in a winner-takes-all game - one that would see the victors secure a much-coveted place in the ICC World Cup in New Zealand (January 2018).
The world cup qualifying tournament was hosted over eight days in Jersey between Ireland, Scotland, Denmark and the hosts. Each team played each other twice and by the final day, when the Celtic cousins met for the second time, Ireland had won five out of their five games and Scotland four out of their five. The first encounter between Ireland and Scotland saw the Irish boys get over the line by a mere two runs. Scotland, however, were ahead on the net run rate, so had a slight advantage.
The toss was won by Irish captain Harry Tector who chose to send his team out to bat first. It appeared the wrong decision from the outset as eight overs in Ireland were four wickets down with only fifteen runs on the board. The biggest partnership of 36 runs was between Tipp man Aaron Cawley and Tector and with the help of a 50 from the captain, Ireland were all bowled out for 108 with 2.2 overs left in the innings.
Such a small total was not going to be easy to defend. The Irish bowlers had their work cut out for them, but there was an early breakthrough when Aaron and fellow opener Josh Little took a wicket apiece. Scotland were at the loss of two wickets for twenty-one runs. Between stealing runs and losing only four more wickets in the process Scotland were 94 for 6 and certain of the win with only fifteen runs needed.
Aaron made his return into the attack and took the scalp of Rory Johnston which proved a game-changing wicket. This spurred him and his teammates on. They had come too far not to go down without a fight. With nerves of steel and their backs against the wall Aaron and Josh bowled with fierce accuracy and determination and between them took four wickets. Ireland beat Scotland by five runs with Scotland having conceded the last five wickets for only nine runs.
Aaron Cawley (back row - fourth from right) pictured with his teammates following Ireland's successful U19 world cup qualifying campaign. Photo: courtesy of Barry Chambers (Cricket Europe).
Having spent less than four weeks at home since April Aaron is looking forward to relaxing for a while and playing some games for his club Cork County. He will also represent his province in the Munster Reds game against Leinster Lightning on Friday week in the Mardyke - the final game of the inter-provincial series for this year.
Aaron is also representing the Ireland U17 team in the Celtic Cup against Scotland in early August and again in late August against Hampshire to finish off what has been a fantastic cricket season for him.
There is still a lot of hard work to be done though, as well as going in to Leaving Cert year in Coláiste Mhuire, Aaron will spend the autumn and winter preparing for the world cup. When asked how he will manage to get the balance right, he admitted that it won't be an easy task, but acknowledges the school has always been very supportive of him when it came to his sport and representing his Country.
“I don’t think there is anyone in the school who doesn’t know what cricket means to me. They know it’s the path I want to take career wise and I’m fortunate to have their full backing. That means a lot," Aaron Cawley explained.
Aaron Cawley pictured in action for the Irish U19 cricket team. Photo: courtesy of Barry Chambers (Cricket Europe).