CLONTARF, last year’s runners-up in the Leinster Premier League, will not be involved in the top flight this season.

A fourth defeat of the season has ‘relegated’ the 2016 champions into the Championship after Rush hit the Castle Avenue attack for 402-5 in the League Cup clash at Kenure yesterday.

In a tremendous fightback, Clontarf needed 19 off the last over to take their fight to the penultimate round of games next weekend but skipper Eoghan Delany was caught for 128 from the third ball and they managed only 14 to lose by 84 runs, worth only one point in the Group B league table.

Rush’s innings was dominated by a fourth wicket stand of 205 between Jurie Snyman and Neil Rock but even after Rock’s dismissal for 85, the South African professional powered his way to an undefeated 178 (from 106 balls, with 17 sixes and nine fours) as Rush scored 73 from the last 44 balls.

It was Balbriggan’s eight wickets victory over Terenure which sealed Clontarf’s fate, although with only one game left they can still lose out on a top four finish – and a Premiership place – if Rush beat them in their last group game at Kenure on Sunday week.

Defending Premier League champions Merrion powered on – and are assured of a League Cup semi-final, after their fifth straight win, beating Pembroke at Sydney Parade by 133 runs.

The Hills lead Group A and have also confirmed their Premiership place after a five wickets win over Dublin University at College Park, but they can still be caught by Malahide and Phoenix who defeated Railway Union and North County respectively in yesterday's other games.