Merrion and Clontarf have broken away at the top of the Leinster Premier League after decisive wins on Saturday and a heavy defeat for third place North County.

The Ballsbridge side were set 207 to beat fourth place YMCA at Claremont Road and with the help of a century partnership between Joe Carty (79) and John Anderson (64) they eased home with three overs to spare.

Clontarf enjoyed the quickest win of the day but lost five wickets in chasing 149 against basement side Leinster, so are now four points behind the leaders. With Bill Coghlan hitting 60 off 31 balls (10 fours and two sixes) and Andrew Poynter 46 off 40 with nine fours, ‘Tarf reached the target at the start of the 22nd over.

Sean Terry, after a run of low scores for Leinster Lightning, was promoted to opener for The Hills and came good, hitting 101 in his side’s 269-7 which proved 71 runs too good for North County who were bowled out in the 46th over.

Andrew Balbirnie heads to Holland this morning with the Ireland team in good form, after seeting Pembroke to an eight wickets win over Phoenix with an unbeaten 95. He shared an unbroken third stand of 191 with Theo Lawson who finished 93 not out.

In Division2 , Malahide soared to the top of the table with a club record total of 432-7 in their huge 289 runs victory at Terenure.