Half centuries from Cecelia and Isobel Joyce got Merrion's season off to a winning start in the 50-over league as they beat YMCA by six wickets.

Cecelia top scored with a fluent 72 from just 68 balls (7 fours), sharing a 92 run stand for the 4th wicket with Isobel, who stroked 6 fours in a quick-fire 56 from only 41 deliveries.

Gaby Lewis took 2 for 18 but Merrion cruised to the win with 13.1 overs to spare chasing 183.

It had all started so well for YMCA for whom Jenny Gray top scored with 54, sharing a partnership of 84 with overseas player Heidi Cheadle (40). Lucy O'Reilly hit 30 but the innings tapered away thereafter, as Celeste Raack (3-28) and Isobel Joyce (2-19) applied the brakes.

"It's a really nice start to the season for us with a real team performance," said Joyce. "Our bowling unit stuck at it even when YM had a good second wicket partnership and then kept at it when the wickets started falling. Some of the fielding of our younger players was particularly pleasing with a number of catches and a run out being taken."

Joyce was pleased with the debut of overseas player Celeste Raack, who picked up three important wickets.

"Celeste bowled well once she got used to the pitch. Sheís used to the cold conditions in Tasmania so that wasnít a problem."

On her match-winning partnership with her twin sister, Joyce felt the telepathy was clear from their performances.

"Cecelia and I have a great understanding and I think that was evident from the way we went about our business."

Leinster were 97 run victors over Pembroke with Sophie MacMahon agonisingly missing out on a deserved century.

The Irish international was run out for 99 as the Rathmines side posted 273 for 6. She hit 9 fours and cleared the ropes once in her 115-ball innings. She added 109 for the second wicket with Valmai Gee, who scored a well-made 57.

"Iím very happy to start the season off with a good win," said MacMahon afterwards. "We set a good total of and were delighted with our batting display as a whole.

"Our bowlers up front performed very well and we got key wickets at key times. It was great to have a few of the younger girls stepping up and performing well, especially Ava Canning and Beth Dimond who both got their first Division 1 wickets."

On missing out on her century, MacMahon was pretty philosophical, accepting the cricketing Gods had been kind on her getting to 99 before being run out. It's the second time in her career that she has been dismissed one short of a hundred.

"I wasnít too disappointed as I gave away a lot of chances that Pembroke didnít take so I probably should have been out earlier - I was just happy to still be there.

"For the run out, I was at the non-strikers end and we just had a mix up in communication. We started to run but then stopped. I had to try and make it back but sadly didnít. I got my last 99 a few years ago in a Division Two match against Rush.2."

MacMahon has been working hard over the close season and reaping the benefits of her sterling efforts.

"I was training hard over the winter leading up to Zimbabwe. Iíve had a bit of a break since we got back but have been preparing well with the Leinster coaches and squad to be ready for the season," added MacMahon.

The Pembroke reply didn't really get going, and it took a lonely, valiant effort from Shauna Kavanagh to earn respectability.

The Irish international struck 76, but no other player reached double figures and it took 64 extras to help them to 176 all out. Sue O'Connor (3-27), Vanessa Kaleda (2-21) and Ava Canning (2-36) doing the damage.

"It was a tough game for us first up, but really excited the season has kicked off nonetheless," said Kavanagh. "We were disappointed with our performances in both innings but there is plenty of time to get things right.

"I was really pleased with the girls who stepped up and filled in for us, I think they all did a tremendous job.

"I was also particularly impressed with Anna Beale who took 2-49 off her 10 overs. Sunday was the first time Anna has bowled 10 overs in Division 1 and she was fantastic.

"Whilst it was a disappointing result for Pembroke, I think it is a real positive for womenís cricket that 450 runs were scored on the day. We are looking forward to playing more 50 over cricket this summer," added Kavanagh.

Overseas player Paris Crowe was the highest scorer of the day as her unbeaten 120 helped Malahide rack up an imposing 313 for 3 against division debutants Clontarf.

Niamh Walsh (73) and Anna Kerrison (47) were also among the runs in a powerful batting display, with Anna Kirk taking two of the three wickets to fall.

Aoife Brennan (41) and Kerry Tomlinson (35) were among the runs as Clontarf managed a respectable 158 in reply, with wickets for Maria O'Halloran (3-14), Aisling McCormack (2-8), and Anna Kerrison (2-26).

Australian overseas player Crowe has adapted quickly to her new environment, and was quick to praise Malahide.

"I have settled in really nicely. The club has been amazing and the whole process of getting here from Australia was seamless.

"Itís good to spend some time in the middle and get used to the conditions. I have heard conditions are certainly tough throughout the early part of the season but the pitch was prepared really well on Sunday and there was some big scores at Malahide throughout the weekend.

"I have been really impressed with the club and there certainly is a huge buzz around the village in regards to the test match. It is such a beautiful ground to host the first test match and it is clearly a really proud time for cricket in Ireland."

Crowe was quick to praise the efforts of team mates Niamh Walsh and Anna Kerrison who were both among the runs.

"Both girls were on a debut for the club and batted really well. They provide a huge presence in the field as well and they are going to have a massive impact on our results this year."

Paris Crowe is one of no fewer than eight overseas players boosting the quality and depth of the upcoming Super 3 interprovincial series, and she's looking forward to pitting her wits at the higher level.

"I am very excited to play in the Super 3 series with the Dragons. It is such a great opportunity to compete with the best around the association and see how you match up against those girls.

"All three teams are strong and it should be a really competitive series throughout the coming month."

The Super 3 series gets under way on Friday at Merrion when the Dragons and Typhoons meet in a T20 clash starting at 5pm.