Merrion captain John Anderson has urged his Merrion players to create a bit of history by defeating Railway Union in tomorrow's Bob Kerr Irish Senior Cup final.

The underdogs tag doesn't worry the talented all-rounder one bit - he prefers it to be that way. Speaking on the eve of the final he said:

"We've been probably labelled underdogs in each of the four ties so far, and have prevailed, so it doesn't worry me or the team to be honest. We've enjoyed not being under any pressure, so we're quite happy with that.

Indeed when Waringstown had reduced Merrion to 16 for 4 in the semis, the final must have seemed like a distant prospect?

"It certainly did! We had taken a bus load of supporters up to Waringstown and at that stage a lot of them wanted a quick return! We got stuck in, and everyone that day contributed to a fantastic comeback. That's been a feature of our cup run this year. Everyone's chipped in and there have been no passengers. Our professional Greg Clarence has had an exceptional year with the bat, but it's been all about the team."

Anderson himself scored a brilliant hundred in that famous win at Waringstown - an innnings which had observers touting for his international elevation to the Ireland squad. Is that something that he is hoping for?

"I'm not sure when my qualification period is up. I've been at Merrion for three seasons now, and previously spent two with Railway. I set myself personal goals, and want to score as many runs and take as many wickets as possible. The rest will take care of itself. It's for other people to decide if I could make a contribution at a higher level. For the moment I'm just concentrating on winning the Cup for Merrion."

Merrion have a decent record against Railway in recent years - did Anderson believe they can pull off the win?

"We've played them a lot with obviously being in the same league in Leinster. We played them twice in the space of 48 hours a couple of weeks ago. We won one and lost one, so it's probably 50:50. We know their players and our team won't hold any surprises for them Sometimes when you're playing a Northern team, the rumours abound about certain players. This time there's no fear or surprise factor for us."

It's Merrion's first final of a competition now in its 29th year - there must be a great atmosphere about the club?

"For sure, there's been a great buzz since we qualified. Players, officials and supporters are on a bit of a high having reached our first final. We had a goad to reach a final, and we've created a bit of history by making the final. The hjob's only half done though - we want to be remembered as winners, not just finalists. It's a great opportunity for the team.

Merrion Irish Cup Stats 2010

  • John Anderson is third in the run charts - he's made 255 runs at 63.75
  • Greg Clarence is in 11th spot - his 157 runs are at 39.25
  • Clarence and Anderson have both made hundreds in the competition - Clarence's came in the win at Strabane, while Anderson made his at Waringstown.
  • Richard Keaveney is the only Merrrion bowler in the top 20 - his 6 wickets at 17.33 means he occupies 19th spot.
  • Merrion's batting strength is obviosu - they have three of the competitions highest totals - 274-9 against North County, 261-4 at Strabane, and 251-8 versus CIYMS.

Merrion route to the final

Semi Final

Waringstown lost to Merrion by 81 runs.

Merrion 202-9 (50.0 overs, J Anderson 101, V Mpitsang 4-26)
Waringstown 121 (41.2 overs)

 
Fourth Round
Merrion  beat North County by 5 runs.
Merrion 274-9 (50.0 overs, J Anderson 62, K Beasley 51, J Boyland 3-41, E Richardson 4-31)
North County 269-7 (50.0 overs, C Armstrong 73, T Shiel 53, D Joyce 3-56)
 
Third Round
Merrion beat CIYMS by 120 runs.
Merrion 251-8 (50.0 overs, G Clarence 41, D Powden 35, R Hanna 4-44)
CIYMS 131 (39.2 overs, R Keaveney 3-27, S Morrissey 3-33)
 
Second Round
Strabane lost to Merrion by 58 runs.
Merrion 261-4 (50.0 overs, G Clarence 103, J Anderson 83)
Strabane 203 (43.2 overs, M Gillespie 59, P Gillespie 45, Chetkovich 3-23)