Blues show St Mary’s no mercy

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first_imgThanks to truly top–class performances from Tom Hicks and Huw Jones Oxford crushed a good St. Mary’s side that ran them close last year. The pitch was low and slow but St. Mary’s got off the mark well in the first two overs, driving sweetly and clipping off the pads solidly. Alan Gofton and Toby Sharpe tidied up their act and the runs soon dried up: when the fielding restrictions were lifted, they were only on 33, barely over two an over. Then Tom Hicks reeled off his 10 overs unchanged, first taking an energetic caught and bowled off a mistimed slog-sweep, later a fanatastic hard-hit low chance back to him. Giving the batsmen nothing hittable, he did not conceed a boundary, and finished with 10–2–17–3 after dismissing their number 5 for 0 lbw. The slow scoring of St. Mary’s was partially due to their chunky opener James Watson, who typified all that could go wrong with limited overs cricket. He did not hit out during the first fifteen, instead choosing to play himself in, then did not accelerate the scoring, did not scamper cheeky singles, but simply waited for his own runs to come and be given to him. This abhorrent self-aggrandisement led Watson to 56 and he did not look like he was even playing for his team, with more inward reflection than happy celebration when getting to his fifty. Upon his fall the lower order enlivened matters, running well between the wickets and taking the OUCCE bowlers on. The graceful reverse sweep by Surrey–contracted Tim Murtagh off ex-colleague Joe Porter typified this rally and left Oxford 155 to win. St. Mary’s openers Robbie Joseph, a Kent 2nds player, and Murtagh were hostile and aggressive and it was a very good contest against Joe Sayers and Huw Jones. There were runs to be had from the wicket though, and when Jones lofted Murtagh over extra cover in the eighth over, the tension was released. The pair banished the memories of last week’s failed century stand with an enjoyable 120 partnership, as Sayers hit the ball crisply square of the wicket and Jones was good in the “v” between extra cover and midwicket. The other St. Mary’s bowlers lacked penetration, struggled for a rhythm and were not consistent enough to trouble the dark blues. Dalrymple finished matters with 20 of 21 balls while there was more than a hour to play. Some of the early season promise is now coming through, which can only be a good thing going into the county match, in 3rd week against Gloucestershire, the last first–class game before the 4-day Varsity match scheduled for the end of June.ARCHIVE: 1st Week MT2003last_img read more

Council says no threat to health as pesticide exceedances found in drinking water

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first_imgExceedances in pesticides have been detected in drinking water sources in Co Donegal, it has been confirmed.Now Donegal County Council is appealing to farmers and other users of pesticides to follow the guidelines when applying these substances to their lands.In Donegal the exceedances were noted in Killybegs, Carrigart-Downings and Donegal (Lough Eske) in 2017 as well as low-level detections in many other supplies. The council says that while there is no threat to public health, it is imperative that users of pesticides are mindful of best practice when spraying their lands.In Ireland, the majority (82 per cent) of drinking water supplies come from surface water sources (water from rivers, lakes and streams). Such supplies are vulnerable to contamination from land and animal run-off.In Donegal, no fewer than 11 different public water supplies across the county have seen the herbicide MCPA detected over the past two years, albeit mostly at very low levels. MCPA is used mainly for eradicating rushes, a problem for many years on Irish farms and one that looks like continuing for many more years. It is also found in other weed killer formulations used by gardeners and growers, so its use is quite widespread.A spokesperson from Donegal County Council explained: “Spring is a time of year for new growth and many people are getting back out into their fields and gardens to assess the effects of winter and prepare for the year ahead. “In many cases, they are finding that weeds of various kinds have taken over and action needs to be taken to leave space for the plants they want to grow. In the modern era, the use of pesticides has played a central role but the effects of this can be far reaching and more and more detections of pesticides in drinking water are being found across the country.”MCPA, which is commonly used to kill rushes on wet land, is the main offender, and careless storage, handling and improper application means it ends up in our drinking water leading to breaches of the drinking water regulations.A single drop of pesticide can breach the drinking water limit in a small stream for up to 30 kilometres. That’s the real and devastating threat that faces Ireland’s drinking water sources.Drinking water monitoring results for Ireland show that a number of pesticides commonly used on grassland, such as MCPA, are being detected more frequently.Donegal County Council would like to remind farmers and professional users of pesticides of the need to follow best practice in the application of pesticides such as MCPA on land, particularly near lakes and rivers used as drinking water sources. The basic steps in reducing pesticide risks are –· Choose the right pesticide product· Read and follow the product label· Determine the right amount to purchase and use· Don’t spray if rain or strong wind is forecast in the next 48 hours· Mark out a 5-metre buffer zone from the edge of the river or lake· Avoid spills, stay well back from open drains and rinse empty containers 3 times into the sprayer.· Store and dispose of pesticides and their containers properly.If there is no alternative to applying a pesticide, the weed wiping or licking method, using a tractor or quad, has the advantage of being applied primarily to the target plant – rushes or other tall weeds, and has been shown to use about 1/3 of the amount of pesticide, (compared to boom spraying) and produce much lower losses to waters.A recently produced video on the correct use of MCPA can be viewed on the Teagasc and DAFM websites. Information leaflets on pesticide use are also available to download from the Teagasc website at www.teagasc.ieBackground The term pesticides includes a wide range of chemicals used for the control of unwanted pests (most commonly weeds and vermin). While the amount of public water schemes with elevated levels of pesticides above the allowed standard is very small in Ireland, there is increasing evidence of pesticides in water sources as a result of run-off from weed control on hard surfaces, gardening, agriculture or forestry.The presence of an individual pesticide at levels exceeding the allowed value tells us that there may have been careless or excessive use of a product in the source catchment or in the vicinity of treated water retaining infrastructure.The highest incidences of pesticide exceedances encountered in Ireland’s drinking water is MCPA, a commonly used herbicide present in many products used to control thistle, dock and rush.What risk does this pose and what is the response?Pesticides do not pose any immediate risk to health.Ensuring that pesticides do not enter drinking water supplies requires a strong protection plan for the water source and that the general public is informed of the correct and safe use of pesticides. A national group has been formed to take action to address pesticides and devise and deliver various educational campaigns. This group has members from numerous state bodies and organisations including the EPA, Department of Agriculture, Teagasc, Coillte, Local Authorities and Irish Water.In the case of individual pesticide exceedances Irish Water engages with the relevant statutory authorities with responsibility for protecting the catchment in that area (e.g. Local Authority Environment Sections, EPA catchment units) to investigate the possible cause of the contamination and take any necessary remedial actions.Teagasc provides useful advice on various treatment options available to farmers and this can be downloaded on www.teagasc.ieCouncil says no threat to health as pesticide exceedances found in drinking water was last modified: March 29th, 2018 by StephenShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)last_img read more