JAMES MC COLLUM'S brilliant unbeaten century helped Waringstown knock out holders Merrion to reach the semi-finals of the Irish Senior Cup at The Lawn.

The Irish A international held his nerve in a tense contest which ebbed and flowed throughout, before McCollum delivered two telling blows, reaching his hundred with the first boundary, then scoring the winning runs with the next.

Waringstown had been rocked early on as they chased 196 for victory, with Tyrone Kane (3-47) and Jamie Brown (2-20) among the wickets.

However MCollum stood firm as he struck 16 boundaries and one maximum in his 106 from 95 balls - sharing a crucial 5th wicket stand of 74 with Irish international Greg Thompson (32) after they were in trouble at 34 for 3 and 76 for 4.

Instonians won the all-NCU clash as they easily overcame CIYMS at Belmont. A solid batting performance saw them post 250 for 6, with skipper Nikolai Smith top scoring with 69, sharing stands of 77 with James Shannon (36) and 74 with Andrew White (40).

Shane Getkate (34), Robert McKinley (28*) and Jordan McClurkin (20*) were also among the runs.

White and James Magee then picked up three wickets apiece as CIYMS were dismissed for 136 - Nigel Jones top scored with 29, while Jacob Mulder and Chris Dougherty made 25 apiece in a one-sided encounter.

The Hills were the quickest winners of the day as they dismissed local rivals Balbriggan for just 106 - Albert van der Merwe taking 4 for 22.

That modest target proved no obstacle for the two-times winners, as Sean Terry hit 7 fours and 3 sixes in his unbeaten 57 from just 31 balls. The Irish international sharing a second wicket stand of 103 in 83 balls with Cormac McLoughlin-Gavin (37*) as they romped to a 9-wicket win.

Pembroke complete the semi-final line up after they beat North Down by 76 runs in a high scoring game at Sydney Parade.

The home side racked up 301 with Andrew Balbirnie's brilliant 122 providing the backbone of the innings.

He top scored with 122 off 117 balls (11 fours. 3 sixes) sharing an opening stand of 111 with Fiachra Tucker (46).

Lorcan Tucker (45) and Conor Mullen (28) kept the momentum going and a total in excess of 300 was always going to be challenging.

Early wickets for Jack Balbirnie (4-61) and David Murphy (2-34) meant North Down were never in serious contention despite a powerful 90 from Peter Eakin which took only 71 balls (8 fours, 4 sixes). They eventually were dismissed for 225, with Neil Russell (22) and Marty Moreland (21*) the only players to pass 20.

Meanwhile in the National Cup, Terenure won the closest game of the day as they beat Rush - winners of the National Cup for the past two years - by one wicket in a thrilling encounter.

Derriaghy beat Knockharley by 7 wickets, Malahide went one better as they were 8 wickets victors against Midleton, while only five overs were possible in the Strabane versus Kerry game, which will now be replayed.

The draws for the semi-finals of both competitions will take place in midweek.


At Belmont, Instonians beat CIYMS by 114 runs
Instonians 250-6 (50 overs; Nik Smith 69, A White 40, J Shannon 36, S Getkate 34, R McKinley 28*, J McClurkin 20*; J Mulder 2-40, T Britton 2-51)
CIYMS 136 all out (37.5 overs; N Jones 29, C Dougherty 25, J Mulder 25; J Magee 3-23, A White 3-33. Nik Smith 2-12)

At Sydney Parade, Pembroke beat North Down by 76 runs
Pembroke 301-8 (50 overs; A Balbirnie 122, F Tucker 46, L Tucker 45, C Mullen 28; R Pretorius 3-51, M Moreland 2-62)
North Down 224 all out (39.4 overs; P Eakin 90, N Russell 22, M Moreland 21*; J Balbirnie 4-61, D Murphy 2-34)

At Milverton, The Hills beat Balbriggan by 9 wickets
Balbriggan 106 (30 overs; Farooq Nasir 27, A Moor 20; A van der Merwe 4--22, Yaqoob Ali 2-22
The Hills 109-1 (15.4 overs; S Terry 57*, C McLoghlin-Gavin 37*)

At The Lawn, Waringstown beat Merrion by 3 wickets
Merrion 195-9 (50 overs; T Stanton 36, E Joyce 30, V Dhiman 29, T Kane 22; K McCallan 2-27, J Mitchell 2-33, G Kidd 2-38)
Waringstown 199-7 (39.3 overs; J McCollum 107*, G Thompson 28; T Kane 3-47, J Brown 2-20)