Waringstown confirmed their status as Ireland’s leading club with an 85-run victory in the Irish Senior Cup final at Stormont.

The pitch provided had been used for two of the Ireland v Afghanistan ODIs last week, ensuring it was a turning square by the time the Co Armagh village’s hand of quality spinners were called upon.

With Merrion missing their hamstrung pro Poonish Mehta, their bowling and batting plans were torn up and they probably missed a trick in overlooking the spin of JJ Walsh.

Merrion’s drive to their sixth final this decade was an emotional one. Each player wore a cap with the national flags of Ireland and Australia with the slogan ‘For Podes’ in memory of Damien Poder, their Aussie all-rounder who died last winter.

Waringstown boast a stellar top five, and three stepped up with a fifty. Their pro, Shaheen Khan blitzed a 55-ball 71 and James Hall 74 before he feathered to Patrick Tice off John Anderson. The leggie ripped out three key batsmen but was surprisingly hauled off when on top of the batsmen and two overs still to bowl.

A target of 265 was gettable if Anderson could replicate the form that has seen him average 111 in this cup this season, but he fell lbw to Gary Kidd for 19. Michael Lewis batted well for 46 but he was the only top-order batsman to pass 20 and that just wasn’t enough.

Kyle McCallan, 43 last week, belied his years to rip out the Jack Carty and despite a flurry by David Langford-Smith on one leg, Waringstown duly won their third Bob Kerr Cup in four years.