Josh Manley making big impression at Munster Reds

There would have been few people more disappointed than Josh Manley when the rain arrived at Pembroke on Thursday afternoon.

Saturday, 29th May 2021, 1:00 pm

The Lisburn seamer - on-loan at Munster Reds from the Northern Knights - had collected figures of 4-43 against his parent side as the Knights were bowled out for 276.

With Munster only completing 17 overs of their chase before bad weather set in, the Inter-Provincial Cup clash was ruled a no result and Manley’s good work was ultimately in vain.

He started his day by trapping James McCollum lbw before grabbing the prize wicket of Paul Stirling as the Irish international was caught behind by PJ Moor.

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Josh Manley is in fine form for Munster Reds.

Manley returned to claim a further two wickets and although he probably envisaged his immediate Inter-Provincial career being with the Knights after representing them over the past couple of seasons, the bowler has thoroughly enjoyed his Munster adventure.

“I think this has been the best that I’ve bowled in the last month or so,” he said.

“I’ve had a back niggle that I’ve been trying to work out and this week it has seemed to be a lot better that it has been.

“I’ve loved my time there - it’s been awesome.

“Johnty (Simon Johnston) came to me at one of our training sessions and said the Reds were looking for another bowler and that they’d talked about me.

“I’ve been looking to get more game time and the opportunity came up, so Johnty told me to let him know if I would be interested and we could make it happen.

“There was more chance of getting through more overs and game time with that so I grabbed it with both hands.

“It was quite a simple decision in the end

“The Knights bowling attack is solid so I was looking for game time and an opportunity to showcase myself.”

Manley will likely be part of the Reds set-up that plays throughout the summer after a revamp of the Inter-Provincial system.

The Reds - who are captained by Tyrone Kane - also have the likes of Ireland internationals Curtis Campher and Gareth Delany in their squad mixed with a group of hungry cricketers trying to showcase their talents.

Manley certainly fits into that category and picking up big wickets like Stirling will only help boost his confidence.

“It’s good when that happens,” he added.

“You train to do the best you can so when it comes out how you want it, it’s top class.

“Big wickets like that affect the game so I was excited for that one.”

Manley plays his club cricket alongside Boyd Rankin, who is one of Ireland’s greats and picked up over 200 wickets before retiring from the international game earlier this month.

It has been a mixed start to the season for the Wallace Park outfit but there have been some positive signs and Manley is enjoying the process of learning from his experienced team-mate.

“I’ve really enjoyed playing with Boyd,” he said.

“He has a wealth of knowledge and has some great stories too.

“We get on quite well and I’ll be picking his brain throughout the rest of this season too to try and get as much as I can from him.

“When you have a world class player like him in your midst, you have to take advantage.”

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