Orla Prendergast's brilliant half century helped Pembroke to a thrilling two-run win over rivals Merrion in the Leinster Senior Cup final.

The Irish international came to the crease with her side on 87 for 2 in the 14th over, needing to accelerate the run-rate after a solid foundation laid by skipper Mary Waldron (35), Louise Little (38) and Shauna Kavanagh (13).

Prendergast hit the ground running with her power, timing and placement, saw the runs flow as 73 came from the last six and a half overs.

She scored 54 of those, from just 26 balls, and Pembroke's final total of 160 for 5 was considered above pat.

Still, Sydney Parade is a fast scoring ground and Merrion's opening pair of Irish internationals Rebecca Stokell and Leah Paul kept pace with the required rate.

The pair added 81 before Paul (27) was dismissed by Cliona Tucker off the penultimate ball of the tenth over.

Rebecca Stokell top scored with 63, hitting nine boundaries, as she and Cecelia Joyce looked to be steering their side home, aided by regular extras.

However, as so often happens, one wicket brought two as first Stokell was smartly stumped by Waldron off Mhairi Nicoll, and then Rachel Delaney gave Anna Beale a return catch.

Cecelia Joyce (31) kept Merrion in the hunt, but when she fell in the final over, caught by Prendergast off Hannah Little, the contest seemed over with nine needed off two balls.

Celeste Raack scored two off the penultimate ball, leaving six required from the last to force a super over. 'Raacky' came oh so close to just doing that, as her clean connection sent the ball soaring to long-on, and for a moment it seemed as if it would clear the ropes, but fell just short.

A thrilling contest, a great advertisement for women's cricket and credit to both sides for serving up such wonderful entertainment.


At Sydney Parade, Pembroke beat Merrion by two runs

Pembroke 160-5 (20 overs; Orla Prendergast 54, Louise Little 38, Mary Waldron 35)

Merrion 158-4 (20 overs; Rebecca Stokell 63, Cecelia Joyce 31, Leah Paul 27)