Although they have a very live chance of taking a hand in the latter stages of North West's cricket's senior title race there was to be no Irish Senior Cup fairy tale for Fox Lodge when they were beaten by Railway Union in Saturday's semi final at Ballymagorry.

The loss of their professional Darryl Brown threatens to derail what was shaping up to be a superb season for Brian Allen's side but they can have few complaints about this one.

When you're taking on arguably the strongest club side in Ireland the last thing you can afford is to have an off-day in the field but that's exactly how it was for the Foxes, as they dropped no fewer than seven catches.

The damage was done very early on as well as the home side's attack could find no way past the Dubliners' talented opening duo of Kenny Carroll and Tom Fisher and by the halfway stage, those two were still together with the visitors coasting on 136 without loss.

Carroll was first out in the 32nd over with the score on 182, having made 92 from 91 balls (10 fours, 1 six) and the Foxes gave themselves a glimmer of hope when they picked up the wicket of Ireland under-19 star Graeme McDonnell soon after.

Skipper Brian Allen then dropped Kevin O'Brien first ball but it didn't prove too costly as he didn't hang around very long but Fisher was proving a real thorn in the side.

He duly reached his century, eventually out for 123, in an innings that included 9 fours and 4 sixes, having faced 132 balls.

The Foxes then bowled some life back into their challenge including when they snapped up the wicket of Trent Johnston pretty cheaply but some unusually poor fielding wasn't aiding their cause.

In the end, Railway posted an imposing 315 for 6, Conor Mullen (25*) and Mohammed Tariq (26) hammering 50 off the last 4 overs to leave the home side with a real mountain to climb.

Johnny Robinson, Jason Milligan and Mark Mooney all picked up two wickets apiece but none of them were cheap.

The Foxes reply started poorly, Trent Johnston doing for Dean McCarter straight away and before long the board read 11 for 3, as Mohammed Tariq claimed the wickets of Garvin Heywood and Jason Milligan with some very accurate bowling.

Skipper Brian Allen and Johnny Robinson batted defiantly without ever looking like taking the match away from Railway, They did add an entertaining 71 in 11 overs before Robinson was first to depart having made 36 (5 fours, 1 six).

Once Allen followed for 40 the writing was on the wall and although Johnny Heywood hit 47 and Andrew McGinnis smashed five sixes in a defiant 41 late on, the winning margin was a comfortable 123 runs.

Paddy Conliffe (3-59), golden arm Kenny Carroll (2-9), and Mohammed Tariq (2-36) were the most successful of the Railway attack.

Railway will now play Merrion in the final, after they overcame a precarious start to beat Waringstown by 81 runs at The Lawn.