David Delany’s five-wicket haul and a crucial batting cameo of 18 not out in 10 balls proved the spark for Clontarf’s thrilling last-over win over Merrion at Castle Avenue.
Delany – an outside bet for a call-up to the international side for T20 contests this summer – came back from an expensive opening spell to claim 5 for 55 as Merrion were bowled out for 223.
He dismissed Tyrone Kane (15), Poonish Mehta (27), Patrick Tice (33) and Michael Lewis (6) before bowling Max Neville first ball to claim his fifth.
John Anderson top scored with 73 from 103 balls (8 fours) sharing a second wicket stand of 79 with skipper Dom Joyce (31).
Bill Coghlan hit 11 fours in his 69 from 80 balls as he and Declan Gallagher shared an opening stand of 107.
Gallagher took 127 balls for his 56 (5 fours) and this meant that although they had plenty of wickets in hand, the required rate in the closing stages had crept above 8.
Waqar Azmat hit 31, but it was vital cameos from Robert Forrest (17), Delany (17*) and Conor Kelly (5*) to secure the points off the penultimate ball.
Tyrone Kane (2-32) and John Anderson (2-33) were best with the ball for Merrion.
Clontarf skipper Joe Morrissey was a relieved man afterwards as he paid tribute to the impact of David Delany saying:
“David is special. He doesn’t always get it right every time, but when he does he destroys teams. That was a devastating spell today.”
Malcolm Nofal’s brilliant 118 propelled North County to a 70-run win against defending champions Leinster at Inch.
The South African hit 15 fours and 2 sixes in his 99-ball innings, sharing a third wicket stand of 102 with Jonno Andrews (48).
Skipper Niall McGovern (40) and Jamie Grassi (37) had put on 72 for the first wicket as County posted 293 for 5.
The Leinster reply got off to a dreadful start as Eddie Richardson trapped Ian O’Herlihy first ball, and he also accounted for George Dockrell (45) and Joe Carroll (17) to take 3 for 37.
Gareth Delany hit an entertaining 42, while Fionn O’Sullivan gave the Rathmines side hope with a half century from just 38 balls (7 fours, 1 six), but wickets from Sean Kingston (3-42), Nofal (2-37) and Adam Coughlan (2-50) saw them fall 70 runs adrift.
YMCA are the new league leaders after a thumping 133-run win over Pembroke at Sydney parade.
Simi Singh’s brilliant 109 from 113 deliveries (13 fours, 1 six) was the catalyst for their total of 278 for 8.
He shared a second wicket stand of 98 with skipper Jack Tector (44), while there were also useful knocks from Bobby Gamble (42*), Oliver Gunning (22) and Zimbabwean international PJ Moor – back for another spell at Claremont Road – who made 26.
Fiachra Tucker, Josh Little and Alex Ridley took a brace of wickets apiece.
The Pembroke reply never got any momentum, despite eight players reaching double figures. Jack Balbirnie top scored with 20 – extras actually contributed 21 – as they finished 145 all out.
The impressive Jarred Barnes took 2 for 16, while there were also two apiece for Asher Abbassi, James Parkinson and Harry Tector.
The Hills’ woes continued as they lost a close-fought clash with Phoenix.
Sean Terry top scored with 64 as they struggled to 206 for 9 – Mac Sorensen, Tomas Murphy and Nic Pretorius all getting 20’s.
Ben White continued his fine campaign taking 3 for 45, while Reinhardt Strydom claimed 2 for 30.
The Hills looked to be well in the contest when they ran out overseas player Brad Kneebone for 21 to leave the home side on 72 for 4, but Fletcher Coutts and Adam Chester counter-attacked.
They added 48 before Chester was bowled for 29 by Terry, but Coutts switched up the gears with a barrage of boundaries.
He hit 7 fours and three sixes totally dominating a stand of 55 with Tom Anders. He was eventually dismissed for 68 off 70 balls with just four needed, as Phoenix got over the line with two wickets to spare. Albert van der Merwe (3-21) was the pick of the bowlers.
In Division Two, Kenny Carroll’s unbeaten 79 and 38 from Alex Stiles saw Railway beat Rush by 8 wickets. Saad Ullah’s five wicket haul had dismissed Rush for 143 – Ramnathpur (41*) and Viswanath (40) their top two scorers.
Half centuries from Ross Durity (80), Jeremy Benton (69), and Morne Bauer (59) saw Cork County post 346 at Terenure, which despite a battling effort by the home side proved 111 too many.
Game of the day saw leaders Malahide squeak home in the last over against Balbriggan, for whom Nathan Rooney top scored with 70.