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Waringstown Clinch Irish Senior Cup With 107 Run Win Over Merrion
South African professional JP De Villiers proved the trump card for Lee Nelson's men - his new ball burst saw Merrion crumble to 35 for 5 as they chased Waringstown's imposing total of 276 for 7. The Titans player removed Irish internationals Tyrone Kane (0) and Dom Joyce (4), as well as the highly rated Robin Smith (3) in a fiery opening spell, that reduced the much vaunted Merrion top order to tatters.
Phil Eaglestone had skipper Rory Allwright (2) caught behind, while Gary Kidd's first delivery saw an injudicious shot from Merrion professional David Rhoda (15) - out stumped by Johnny Bushe after a rush of blood to the head. ll credit to Merrion who showed their renowned fighting qualities with a counter-attacking 6th wicket stand between Dave Langford-Smith and Michael Lewis. The pair added 93 in 97 balls, with Langford-Smith - a veteran of Ireland's 2007 World Cup campaign - top scoring with a typically belligerent 70 from 65 balls (9 fours, 2 sixes).
The reintroduction of De Villiers saw the stand ended abruptly, and despite a battling unbeaten 52 from Lewis (56 balls, 2 fours, 2 sixes), Merrion were dismissed for 169. Kyle McCallan (3-30) claimed the final three wickets - one of which was John Anderson, who batted at number nine due to a hand injury.
Earlier, Waringstown had been indebted to a fourth wicket stand of 103 between Greg Thompson and skipper Lee Nelson, who came together at 51 for 3, after three wickets had fell for just 8 runs. James Hall and James McCollum both scored 18 in an opening stand of 43, before falling in successive balls to the impressive Dom Joyce (4-62). Adam Dennison (0) was trapped lbw by Tyrone Kane and suddenly the momentum was with the Leinster side.
Thompson though continued to be positive despite the mini collapse as top scored with 78 from 113 balls (8 fours, 1 six), while Nelson struck four boundaries in an entertaining 44. JP De Villiers benefitted from a second ball reprieve to strike three sixes in a breezy 31 from 22 balls, while,Kyle McCallan (30*), Davy Dawson (19), and Johnny Bushe (12*) kept the momentum going as 66 runs were added in the last 8 overs. De Villiers pipped Thompson for the Man of the Match accolade - his removal of the Merrion top order proving the match winning performance in the final analysis.
The match was a fine advertisement for Irish cricket, played in excellent spirit in front of a large crowd bathed in sunshine - all credit to Waringstown for their superb hosting of the fixture - a fact acknowledged by Cricket Ireland President Dr Murray Power as he handed the Bob Kerr trophy to Lee Nelson in front of a jubilant home support.
Irish Senior Final - Saturday 5th September at The Lawn, Waringstown CC
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