Leinster sides dominate in Irish Cups
Ian Callender (Irish Independent)
Six wins out of eight with three more home ties to come, should ensure another dominant first round for Leinster teams in the Irish Senior Cup.
Most impressive win of the day came from YMCA who returned from a potentially tricky tie against North Down with an emphatic 10 wickets win, Jack Tector and Tom Fisher reaching their target of 108 inside 18 overs.
The game at Comber had been reduced to 24 overs by rain but captain Simmi Singh and his Leinster Lightning spin twin Yaqoob Ali shared six wickets to rip through the NCU side's batting.
In Phoenix Park, Reinhardt Strydom tore apart the St Johnston bowling, with a 48-ball century (18 fours and two sixes) out of his side's 140 as Phoenix eased past their Donegal opposition by seven wickets.
Conor Armstrong hit 74 in North County's eight wickets win over Ardmore and it proved just as straightforward for The Hills (Michael Baumgart 68) and Pembroke against Civil Service North and Lisburn respectively in their six-wicket successes.
Joe Morrissey almost pulled off a dramatic victory for Clontarf but last season's Leinster league and cup winners fell at the first in the closest game of the day.
Instonians needed only two from the last over with five wickets in hand but Morrissey took two wickets from the first two balls, a run-out followed off the third and after two more ‘dots' it all came down to the last ball. Nathan Smith prevailed, hitting it to the mid-off boundary.
Leinster were the other team to make an early exit, surprisingly going down by 56 runs at home to Fox Lodge, who play in the North West's second tier. Danny Coad hit 64 for the Rathmines side.
Holders Waringstown are safely into this week's second round draw, after dismissing Bready for just 70 but there wasn't a ball bowled in the North West because of rain. The compensation for Merrion and Malahide is that they have home ties against Coleraine and Strabane respectively on Sunday week while Railway Union will also host Cork County.
In the National Cup, only four of the 13 games were completed but holders Rush are safely through, beating Downpatrick by seven wickets.