When the draw for the quarter-finals of the Bob Kerr Irish Senior Cup paired Waringstown and Merrion for most cricket lovers this without doubt was the tie of the round.

It’s the fourth clash between the pair in the last five seasons – currently the Dubliners lead 2-1, arguably Ireland’s two best teams going head to head. The quality on either side points to a truly mouth-watering contest; as Waringstown skipper Greg Thompson enthused:

“We are really looking forward to the game, it is exciting to be facing Merrion, they have top players, Ed Joyce, John Anderson, Tyrone Kane to name a few. Equally I’m sure if you asked Dom Joyce he would be saying the same about Waringstown.

Gary Kidd’s 7-9 was tremendous last weekend against North Down; he’s a good bowler, been bowling well and had the rub of the green, catches went to hand, decisions were given. I believe we are a well-balanced side with four guys under 21 and we will field the same eleven on Sunday.

We are playing well, but there are two teams, one will win, the other will lose. We are getting results right now, but it won’t last forever. The thing about cup ties - one mistake and you are gone, not like the league.

I just hope we get good cricket and the weather allows it to be decided in the full quota of overs.”

CIYMS and Instonians meet twice this weekend at Belmont, firstly in the league, Inst captain Nikolai Smith gives an interesting perspective:

“We gave away too many runs last weekend, we are a young side still learning and realistically we need to win twice. With our best side, we can match anyone; but injuries are the problem.

Stephen Bunting is out, but Robert McKinley and James Magee both trained this week, I think it is whether they have the confidence in their bodies, we will let them decide.

Both games will be completely different, red ball against white ball. In the league, the red ball is that bit harder and retains its shine, will move about for longer, whereas with the white ball after 10/12 overs it comes down to serious bowling skills which is where experience is vital, either batting or bowling.

We have experimented with Shane Getkate opening as he has had a tough patch and we wanted to give him the potential for as much time in the middle, looks like he has his mojo back with the Wolves this week, so James Shannon will open and Shane can play his natural game at 4 or 5.”

North Down complete the NCU quartet with an away trip to Pembroke.