TYRONE Kane was the star for Merrion as they won the match of the day in the first round of the Irish Cup in a thrilling finale.

Donemana, the North West Premiership and Senior Cup holders, finished the 49th over still needing 12 runs to win with their last pair at the wicket. But the umpires ruled that Merrion had bowled their overs too slowly and penalised them six runs so they started the last over needing six to win.

But Test match star Kane conceded only four runs from the first five balls and bowled Andrew Riddles with the last to give the Irish Cup specialists a one run victory. It was also reward for John Anderson who had scored 78 and Dom Joyce and Joe Carty who both made 72.

Malahide came out on the wrong side of an exciting finish against Muckamore in The Village when Craig Drummond hit the first ball of the 49th over to the boundary to give the NCU side a one wicket win. Drummond, batting at No 7, finished 108 not out as he rescued Muckamore, chasing 213 for victory, from 48 for six, James Newland having taken five of the wickets.

Clontarf had a surprisingly easy win against Brigade at Castle Avenue with Obus Pienaar in the starring role, following up his 92, in the home side’s 263-7 with three wickets. The final margin was 102 runs.

Ireland international Simi Singh scored 92 as YMCA beat Cork Harlequins by seven wickets and Leinster also eased into the second round against Eglinton thanks to a unbroken fourth wicket stand of 106 between George Dockrell (64) and Joe Carroll (55).

Balbriggan, who beat Armagh by nine wickets and Phoenix, six wickets winners over Ardmore, completed the Leinster success story.

Making their exits, however, were five-time winners North County who collapsed from 30-2 to 37-6 in pursuit of CIYMS’ 220 and duly lost by 107 runs and Cork County but only after a brave fight chasing down Strabane’s 222.

The ninth wicket fell at 182 but the last pair of Meads and Wooton got them within four runs with three balls remaining before the North West side took the final wicket.