Group A was taken by YMCA who had a facile win over Leinster CC. Batting first YM amassed 165/5, a total which Leinster were never in the hunt to chase down. Mitch Thompson’s 53 was ably supported by Bobby Gamble (34) and Jack and Tim Tector who each contributed 28. Five bowlers took wickets for Leinster, the best of whom was Bilal Azhar with 1 for 19.

The YMCA bowlers never allowe their opponents to establish any sort of defence as wickets fell freely and frequently, Mikey O’Reilly led the way with 3/15 and was assisted by Cillian McDonnell 2/15 as the Rathmines side were restricted to 80/8, Andrew Tonge (19) and Dev Ranolia (18) topped the pile for Leinster.

The other match in this Section was a dead rubber between Rush (164/5) and Terenure (166/7). Nathan Maguire’s aggressive and entertaining 73 didn’t get the support it needed to post the kind of total required on the day.

For Terenure, Seamus Lynch (90) led the way as a lethargic fielding display by the Rush men just didn’t appear to be all that interested.

Group B was won by Clontarf (97/6) who had to battle to the last ball before they overtook Malahide’s small total of 96/8.

The ever willing Fintan McAllister (46) was the only Villager to make a serious mark as Fionn Hand (3 for 22), David Delany (2 for 10) and Mick Granger (2 for 20) allowed no wriggle room to their guests.

In reply ‘tarf were well served by Eoghan Delany (28), David Delany (15), and John McNally (13) whch, together with last-ball heroics from David Vincent was just enough to see the Castle Avenue side advance to the semis.

Railway Union (114) travelled to Cork County (139/6) for the other match in this Section and lost by 25 runs.

Rudolph Pollard (46) and Harvey Wootton (26) were the leading bats for Cork while Glenn Querl (2 for 22) and Oliver Pery (2 for 31) battled hard but in vain.

Kenny Carroll (26) was the best for Railway, who never really got the train out of the siding. Harvey Wootton took 4 for 28 and Abubakar Saddique 4 for 23 to derail their visitors.

Group C gave us the only real meaningful battle of the day as Merrion needed to beat Pembroke without allowing the Sydney Paraders any more than two losing bonus points.

Step up John Anderson, your experience and best abilities are required; Ando didn’t let his side down, scoring 66, aided and abetted by Max Sorensen and James Hitchcock who each chipped in with 19 as Merrion progressed to 137/8.

John Anderson scored 66

Scott Ruttle (3 for 15) and Paul Lawson (2/41) failed to stem the flow. The Pembroke reply (91/8) led by Paul Lawson (27) was the best of the Pembroke batsmen as Tom Stanton (2 for13) and Max Sorensen (2 for 15) took the wickets that mattered and saw the Anglesea Road side into the next phase.

After the match Merrion unveiled a memorial to the late Damien Poder who had served the club as both a player and coach. Damien was a true gentleman of the game and is sadly missed.

Balbriggan vs North Kildare, in Group C, saw a Chris de Freitas inspired Balbriggan achieve an 82 run win over the Kildare side. Nathan Rooney (54) and de Freitas (31) set a target of 189 but North Kildare were blown away by the bowling of the aforesaid de Freitas as he scuttled 5 at a cost of 13 runs. Balbriggan 188/6. North Kildare 106 all out.

Max Sorensen

In Section D, Dublin University went to North County for a potential humdinger but with John Mooney in the form that he has rediscovered, that was always going to be a big ask.

County batted first and posted a score of 168/5 with Johnboy’s 42 being buttressed by Niall McGovern (32) and Salman Aziz (22). This put the home side firmly in the driving seat; it would require solid support for Nic Pretorius (55) if the students were going to out-score their hosts.

Unfortunately for the University side, such support failed to appear, only Michael Hogan (27) managed to even get a start and they ran out of steam, all out for 127. Andrew Sheridan (3 for 18) and Eddie Richardson (2 for15) were the destroyers of the DUCC dream.

The other fixture in this Section, The Hills vs Phoenix was written off due to a Covid19 incident in the Phoenix club which suggested some close contacts among the First XI so, in line with Covid protocols, Cricket Leinster ruled that the match should not go ahead. We wish any one affected a speedy recovery.

All of this brings to a conclusion to the league tranche of the competition and to next Sunday’s (July 18th) semi-finals; Clontarf vs YMCA, and Merrion vs North County.

There promises to be some fur and feathers flying on the day as the four sides battle to make it to the first final of the season for The Sports Hub Leinster Senior Cup.