It was not to be for Waringstown who still hold the record for the most Irish Cup wins but they failed to make it a magnificent seven at The Lawn yesterday.
In front of one of the biggest crowds to watch a club match, Leinster came and conquered, repeating their success over the Villagers in the second round last year, to lift the trophy for the first time since 2009.
Defeat was particularly unfair on Morgan Topping who followed up his memorable 150 in last week’s Challenge Cup final with another century but Peter Francis was the deserved winner of the man of the match award.
The Leinster all-rounder hit an unbeaten 74 from 55 balls and then produced a superb spell of pace bowling which yorked James McCollum in his third over and was too good for the tail. He took the last two wickets for figures of three for 24 from his eight overs as Waringstown fell 48 runs short.
The last five overs of the Leinster innings ultimately proved the difference as first Joey Carroll and then Francis plundered 64 runs, clearing the boundary six times. Only Ireland international Graham Hume could contain them and he was rewarded with Carroll’s wicket, but by then the batter had hit 78 in a stay of 108 balls which led the recovery from the perils of 11 for three.
Two wickets for Ben Snell and one for Hume had given Waringstown the perfect start after Leinster had surprisingly chosen to bat after winning the toss, but three successive 50 partnerships put them back on course and allowed them the free hits at the end of the innings.
The start to Waringstown’s innings was not much better than Leinster’s as McCollum’s dismissal followed a loose shot from Adam Dennison to leave them 14 for two, bringing Topping to the middle in the fifth over.
While he was in the middle, the hosts were in control but wickets kept falling at the other end, the most surprising that of in-form skipper Greg Thompson for just 17, when he missed a reverse sweep. Averaging 80 going into the final, it proved the decisive wicket as Ross Allen quickly followed him back to the pavilion and although James Cameron-Dow stayed for 10 overs with Topping, 10 runs after bringing up his hundred he perished on the mid-wicket boundary going for his fifth six.
Thompson, who paid tribute to the Waringstown supporters, was full of praise for Leinster - “deserved winners on the day” - before adding: “Today hurts, exaggerated by the fact it was at home but we still have the League and the T20 Cup to play for and we will come back again.”