Ger Siggins (Sunday Independent)
The line-up for the Sunday Independent All-Ireland T20 finals was completed yesterday when Clontarf won the Leinster crown in dominant fashion at Sydney Parade.
By taking the Alan Murray Cup by six wickets over Merrion, the defending champions ensured they will line up alongside Brigade, Waringstown and Cork County on August 18th at Bready, Co Tyrone.
Merrion were hampered by having to play 20 minutes after they finished their semi-final, and surprised many by rejigging the line-up that had made a best-of-the-day 154-8.
They started well, reaching 50-1, but collapsed to 55-6 after running into a whirlwind called Joe Morrissey.
The Tarf skipper, an ex-Merrion man himself, ripped the heart out of the innings, claiming the most-prized wickets of John Anderson, Dom Joyce (both first ball), Dave Langford-Smith and Michael Lewis in a spell of 4-1-14-4.
Indian professional Poonish Mehta smacked 29 and Lewis 16 but too many batsmen threw away their wickets with poor shots and poorer running and a total of 100 was well below par.
Conor Kelly, who earlier took a liking to George Dockrellís bowling, did the same with another Irish cap, Tyrone Kane, and his brisk innings was just what Tarf wanted.
Bill Coghlan hadnít the ideal start to his day, shipping a nasty blow to his cheekbone in the warm-ups. But a shiner was no impediment and first 54 and 24 in the final was a great comeback.
Mehta briefly revived Merrion hopes with an excellent spell, but Waqar Azmat and Bobbo Forrest saw the northsiders home.
Earlier, both had eased into the final with Clontarf seeing off Leinster thanks to a typical Coghlan innings of caution leavened with brutal violence.
Merrion posted 154-8 with major contributions from David Langford-Smith and Dom Joyce, but YMCA never got going with the bat and despite battling 30s by the two eldest Tector brothers, they were dismissed 25 runs short.
Merrion keeper Patrick Tice had dashed from the wicket to the Pembroke bar in time to watch his sister Elena and her team-mates win their hockey shootout.
He was later seen scrambling to find flights and tickets so he could watch todayís World Cup final.
Sydney Parade: Merrion 100 all out (18.2 overs; P Mehta 29, J Morrissey 4-15) lost to Clontarf 102-4 (16.1 overs; B Coghlan 24, W Azmat 23, R Forrest 20no, Mehta 2-17) by six wickets