ALL the Irish Cup quarter-finals will be staged in Dublin next Sunday after the first attempt to play all four games yesterday were rained off without a ball bowled.

The competition rules state that the fixtures are reversed for the ‘replays’ on the reserve date so Pembroke will have home advantage against holders Waringstown, Clontarf will be at home to Civil Service North while Strabane must make the journey south to Phoenix and Merrion must travel across the city to face Leinster at Rathmines.

Merrion have opened up a decisive lead in the Premier League after hammering The Hills by nine wickets on Saturday and then seeing Clontarf lose at home to Pembroke.

After an opening partnership of 125 between skipper Dom Joyce and Bhavesh Lakhotia, John Anderson joined his captain to add the remaining 117 runs to complete an emphatic victory in just 42 overs.

Fiachra Tucker took five wickets for Pembroke as Clontarf were bowled out for 191, despite half centuries for Waqar Azmat and Declan Gallagher and internationals Lorcan Tucker (69) and Andrew Balbirnie (58) then led the charge to victory with nine overs and five wickets to spare.

North County moved within five points of ‘Tarf after a maximum points victory over Phoenix. Jamie Grassi hit 91 for the Balrothery side, but the man of the match was professional Malcolm Nofal who followed up his 61 with five for 16 as the home side were dismissed for 165, exactly 100 runs short.

Leinster are still bottom but they closed the gap on Phoenix to 17 points after recording their second win of the season, in some comfort. After bowling out YMCA for 138, they knocked off the runs in the 30th over with George Dockrell finishing 36 not out.