Waringstown, The Hills, Leinster and Pembroke are through to the last four of the Irish Senior Cup.
2009 winners Leinster were the first team into the last four as they beat Phoenix by four wickets in a low scoring tussle. Batting first, Phoenix were bowled out for just 92, with Levon Shields 35 their one bright note. Peter Francis picked up four wickets, while there were two apiece for Saqib Bahadhur, Deveder Ranolia and Mark Tonge.
Skipper Azhar hit 7 fours in a rapid 37, adding 49 for the first wicket with Michael Hogan (17). However, they were pegged back by Tyrone Kane and Amish Sidhu who took three wickets apiece. The Rathmines side eventually got over the line for the loss of six wickets.
The competition's most successful side are in another semi-final after overcoming fierce rivals Merrion in a high-scoring game at The Lawn. Waringstown made light of their depleted stocks to rack up an imposing 324 for 8. Pat Botha hit 11 boundaries in a fluent 59, adding 88 for the second wicket with Adam Dennison (41). The decisive partnership though was the 5th wicket one of 150 between skipper Greg Thompson and Morgan Topping. The pair have been in rich veins of form and continued that here with Thompson hitting 11 fours and three sixes in a top score of 88 from just 60 balls, while Topping's 77 included 7 fours and 2 sixes.
Swapnil Modgill (28) flew out of the blocks and when John Anderson and Stephen Doheny both made half centuries, the Dubliners looked on course at 148 for 1 near the halfway stage. However, their dismissals sparked a collapse with two wickets for Thompson, Pat Botha and Adam Dennison, while Eaglstone had the prize scalp of Anderson.
Hugh Kennedy hit four sixes in an entertaining 42, but it was only delaying the inevitable as the hosts ran out 61-run victors. They will now have their sights firmly on a magnificent seventh title, with the added knowledge of knowing the final will be on home turf on August 12th should they win the semi-final.
Pembroke won a tense battle against Balbriggan in the all-Leinster clash. Batting first the 2019 winners were given a solid start with an opening stand of 85 between in-form JJ Garth and Diarmaid Tucker (31). Garth hit 7 fours in a top-score of 77, while there were runs too for skipper Theo Lawson (35), Nick Stapleton (20), and crucially Danny Hogan (30) down the order. There were three wickets for Matt Pollard and Dylan Lues in the total of of 236.
Balbriggan, like the hosts, were understrength and the absence of Cameron Rowe and Connor Fletcher was to prove telling. Greg Ford's even time 88 (9 fours, 3 sixes) kept it evenly balanced, and his dismissal with 34 needed from 7 overs was the game changing moment. Nick Stapleton's four wickets book-ended the start and end of the innings, while Gavin Hoey claimed three scalps, and Fiachra Tucker two - including Ford's - in the 24-run win.
The Hills' quest for a third 'Bob Kerr' Trophy remains firmly on track after an impressive six wickets win against Instonians at Milveton. A second wicket stand of 56 between Cade Carmichael - who hit 6 fours in his 33 - and Nikolai Smith gave the NCU a platform, but a superb display by the hosts bowling unit saw Cian Nulty, Tomas Rooney-Murphy, Sean McNicholl and Nicolaj Laegsgaard each taking two wickets to dismiss their opponents for 129.
Danish international Laegsgaard hit 6 fours and a six in a breezy 39, but just when the Belfast side were looking to fight back, Murray Commins (30) and the prolific Mark Donegan (37*) shut the door firmly with a 4th wicket stand of 42 that all but sealed the win.