Joe Carroll's magnificent seven-wicket haul got defending champions Leinster off to a winning start as they trounced Pembroke at Rathmines.

Carroll took 7 wickets for the second successive match as Pembroke were skittled for 52- the lowest score in the top flight for 8 years according to Cricket Leinster stats.

There was no sign of the carnage to come as the Sydney Parade side reached 30 for 1, but Carroll's dismissal of Andrew Balbirnie (8) proved the catalyst for a collapse of epic proportions with 9 wickets falling for just 22 runs.

The impressive Bilal Azhar(2-18) proved the perfect foil for Carroll on a day to forget for the Pembroke batting.

Josh Little and overseas professional Alex Ridley picked up a wicket apiece but it was scant consolation as Leinster raced to the 8-wicket win in just 50 balls. Gareth Delany in a hurry to maximise his 21st birthday celebrations, striking five boundaries in his unbeaten 26.

Pembroke's beleagured batters weren't alone in their struggles as North County found the going equally tough at Angelsea Road. County without the services of the talismanic Eddie Richardson (get well soon Eddie) were skittled for just 88.

There were two wickets apiece for the youthful Merrion triumvirate of Tom Stanton (2-12), JJ Walsh (2-17) and Max Neville (2-18), with only overseas pro Malcolm Nofal (36) and Jamie Grassi (10) reaching double figures.

Dom Joyce (1) fell early in the reply, but an 88-run stand between Jack Carty and John Anderson ensured a maximum point win. Carty struck 5 fours and 3 sixes in his unbeatenb 48 from 60 balls, while Anderson was solidity personifed in his 19 not out.

Things were no easier for the batsmen at Castle Avenue where Clontarf beat The Hills in a low scoring affair. Indeed 'Ernie Extras' as the late, much lamented Stu Daultrey would have called them topped the run charts with 23 as The Hills were bundled out for 83, again having made a reasonable start at 31 for 0.

Irish hopeful David Delany started the collapse dismissing Albert van der Merwe, Mark Donegan, and Nic Pretorius in quick succession on his way to 4 for 24. Sameer Dutt (3-8) also among the wickets with Sean Terry's 21 the only resistance.

Clontarf found the conditions little better, and it was a real turgid battle as they ground out the four-wicket win as Van Der Merwe (3-20) and Max Sorensen (2-16) made them fight all the way.

The batting oasis in the desert was to be found at Claremont Road where YMCA went top of the table with a closely fought win over Phoenix. Harry Tector scored another half century, top scoring with 67 from 79 balls (9 fours) as YMCA scored 205.

Jack Tector (25) and Andrew Blair-White (19) chipped in with brief cameos, while there were three wickets apiece for Ben White and Reinhardt Strydom.

The YMCA attack has a nice balance to it and with Barnes (3-22) taking out the top order, Padraic Flanangan (3-30) the middle, and Simi Singh (3-26) mostly the tail, the Claremont Road side were always on top.

They were kept honest by New Zealand overseas player Brad Kneebone and while the 24 year-old was at the crease, Phoenix were never out of the contest. He and his Kiwi team mate Fletcher Coutts (24) added 55 for the 5th wicket, but despite Kneebone making an unbeaten 79 (7 fours), there just wasn't enough support as YM prevailed by 26 runs.

In Division Two, half centuries from Lorcan Tucker and Strong helped Trinity beat Teremure by 54 runs, while Matthew Ford - son of Ireland coach Graham - hit an unbeaten 126 as Malahide were 51 run victors against Railway Union.