Three Cup Finals to be decided this weekend
The Junior Cup Final on Saturday sees a repeat of last year's final with beaten finalists Co Kerry hosting Cork Harlequins at the beautiful Oyster Oval. In the semi-finals, Co Kerry had a 6 wicket victory over Midleton with Ahmed Bilal Jahid scoring 112 of the required 170 runs while Harlequins beat local rivals County by 17 runs in a high scoring game at Farmer's Cross. Mustak Mardan was the Quin's hero on the day scoring 100*.
The Minor Final on Sunday, at Farmer's Cross, sees Cork County victors over Midleton in a weather affected game in the Semi Final take on U.C.C. The students had 51 runs to spare over Co Kerry in their Semi Final with Kaleem Ahmed scoring 135* and taking 3 wickets for 56 in a Man of the Match performance.
The Senior Cup Final at the Mardyke on Sunday sees the meeting of Cork Harlequins and Co Kerry. Both teams must be wondering how they got to this final following their unconventional route to the final. Co Kerry were awarded a bye in round one while Cork Harlequins overcame Cork County in a bowl out at a damp Farmer's Cross at the end of May.
In the Semi-finals, Co Kerry having crashed out of the National Cup in spectacular fashion to Co Galway the previous week must not have been looking forward to facing Limerick at the Manor Fields. Limerick had a comfortable win over Knockharley the previous Sunday to reach the National Cup Semi Final for the very first time. The sides had met earlier in July in the All Rounder Cricket Premier Division with Limerick running out the easiest of winners by 204 runs. However, Kerry tore up the form book to record a six wicket victory scoring 209 for 4 in 37.3 overs to book their place in the Final. Khuram Iqbal top scored with 66 before being run out in the 19th over with Owais Saghir taking 4 wickets for 37 to help restrict Limerick to 205. Cork Harlequins booked their place in the Final in bizarre fashion as Semi-Final hosts, Midleton, failed to produce a DLS printout at the interval leaving umpire Jack Russell with no alternative but to award the game to Cork Harlequins.
It would be a brave man who would attempt to predict the winner of this year's final.