Ian Callender (Sunday Life)
Merrion produced the performance of the day to reach their first Bob Kerr Irish Senior Cup final with an 81 runs victory over Waringstown at The Lawn.
The Ballsbridge side recovered from 16 for four to total 202 for nine and when Richard Keaveney dismissed Kyle McCallan and current international James Hall in his first two overs, the Villagers were up against it.
Andrew Cousins was caught at mid-on to leave Waringstown 37 for three and when Lee Nelson, captain Johnny Bushe and Keith Morrison followed in the space of eight balls, only the margin of victory was in doubt.
Simon Harrison stayed for 23 overs but his undefeated 31, from No 7, only delayed the inevitable as the wickets continued to tumble at the other end. Titikish Patel bowled his 10 overs for just 15 runs and along with Keaveney and Damien Poder finished with two wickets.
The man of the match was the Merrion skipper John Anderson who came to the middle at 11 for three in the eighth over and did not depart until the 47th when he had scored 101 of the 168 runs added.
His clean hitting on a pitch which was never easy to bat on, bettered anything else on view and he was rewarded with two sixes into the sightscreens and eight other boundaries.
His batting left Waringstown's opening bowling a distant memory but when Victor Mpitsang removed professional Greg Clarence and former international Dom Joyce in successive overs and Simon Harrison dismissed Ireland Under 19 international Ben Ackland and Gus Joyce, Waringstown were planning their day out at the final.
It was to be premature as a patient fifth wicket stand of 73 in 26 overs halted the slide - Kade Beasley scored just 27 but held out for 91 balls! - and Merrion had wickets in hand to launch their charge to the finish, 113 coming off the last 16 overs.