Merrion's remarkable record in the Irish Senior Cup faces its biggest test tomorrow when they travel to Belfast to take on NCU Premier League champions CIYMS.

It is 12 years since the Ballsbridge side failed to reach the quarter-finals – no other team has gone five seasons without a second round exit – but CI have made an unbeaten start to their title defence and this week won their group in the T20 Cup.

International Mark Adair is likely to be missing with a calf problem but for some of the Merrion players it will be a chance to impress newly appointed Leinster Lightning head coach Nigel Jones who will continue to play for and captain CIYMS.

Dominick Joyce and John Anderson have retired from the inter-provincial set-up but they are still the two-time winners and six-time finalists’ key players and are in-form after big centuries when they put on 277 in Merrion’s opening Premier League victory against Leinster last Sunday.

Leinster are one of five teams with home advantage in and around Dublin with the visit of holders Waringstown to Malahide the most attractive game.

Carrickfergus and Instonians also head south to face Clontarf and Rush respectively but only one Leinster side is sure of making it to the last eight with Pembroke hosting League Cup winners The Hills in a repeat of their semi-final at Milverton two weeks’ ago.

First up, today, is a full programme of league action with two of the first day winners, YMCA and The Hills meeting at Claremont Road. Match of the day should be in Phoenix Park where Merrion will be looking for another maximum 25 points haul while Leinster and Rush are both looking for their first point when they meet at Rathmines.

It is also second round day in the National Cup tomorrow with 2017 beaten finalists Terenure’s home game against Downpatrick the pick of the action, while Railway Union travel to last year’s runners-up, Limerick.