The Bob Kerr Irish Senior Cup final between Merrion and The Hills promises to be one of the closest to call in years, with many pundits undecided as to who will be lifting the trophy in Castle Avenue on Saturday night.

CricketEurope spoke to both skippers just 48 hours before the showpiece game in the Irish cricket calendar.

The Hills are skippered by Naseer Shaukat who at 46 years of age brings a wealth of experience to the role.

How did the veteran all-rounder feel that the season had gone for his side?

"The season has gone fantastically well. We are second in the league, beaten semi-finalists in the cup and of course are in the final of the Bob Kerr Irish Senior Cup. The team has played as a unit with everybody contributing equally when needed."

Which players was Shaukat looking for big performances from in the heat of battle on Saturday?

"Of course Max Sorensen is the stand out name but the team does not work that way. We have picked players to do a job all year and that is what they have done to date. Tomas Murphy is getting runs and wickets and Michael Baumgart has had a great season with the bat. Mark Dwyer's valuable runs and wickets at crucial times have been priceless and new guys Jonno Andrews, Cormac McLoughlin and Howard McDonnell have batted strongly when the pressure was on.

"Daryl Calder has been a rock at the top of the order but always the strength of the team shining through with a never say beaten mentality - importantly our fielding has been strong all year as well - always a neccesity to back up the bowlers."

Shaukat has of course played first-class cricket in Pakistan, while late in his career he pulled on the green jumper for Ireland, winning 11 caps. He of course also played in a All Ireland final for Rush. If he were lucky enough to lift the trophy on Satuday, where would that victory rate in his career?

"It would be my proudest moment in cricket. Since I came to The Hills the welcome I have received has been nothing but wonderful. It's a great place to play cricket. They know their cricket but the one question always asked is - 'Will you bring us home the All Ireland Cup this year Naz'?

Does Shaukat feel that 2012 will be the year The Hills get their hands on the 'Holy Grail'?

"Yes, I have no reason to think anything different. We have already beaten Merrion twice this year and although we respect them immensely and they are a fine team, I believe if we play our game and have a little bit of luck on the side we will bring home the cup to the Vineyard and back to the home of cricket - Fingal."

For Merrion captain John Anderson 2012 has been a memorable season for him personally, being capped at international level for the first time, and almost becoming the first person in over a hundred years to carry his bat for Ireland in a first-class fixture. How did he feel the seasom had gone for Merrion as a club?

"We've had an up and down season so far, winning 8 matches and losing 7. Our league season hasn't gone too well, with two important games coming up to stay in Division 1. We have won two cups in the last two years, so hopefully we can use that experience of playing in pressure cup games to our advantage on Saturday.

And what did he think of Merrion's opponents The Hills?

"The Hills are a good team with a couple of match winners - I think the teams are evenly matched. We were involved in a thriller two weeks ago against them, losing a low scoring match by 1 wicket. I expect the final to be no different - another tough, hard fought match."

Who was the skipper looking for big performances from at the weekend?

"We have a few match winners in our team - our overseas professional Tim Lang has had a great Bob Kerr Irish Senior Cup to date (his 92 off 69 balls against Civil Service North and 64 off 64 balls versuss Clontarf were both match winning innings. Dom Joyce played a great innings of 72 not out in the final in 2010 and Rory Allwright stepped up to the plate with a brilliant undefeated 74 in our semi final in Donemana.

"But it will have to be a team effort, with contributions from all 11 players if we are to win on Saturday."

The game at Castle Avenue,Clontarf starts at 11am and Sunday will be used as a reserve date.

The Hills (from): Naseer Shaukat, Jonathan Andrews, Daryl Calder, Mike Baumgart, Max Sorensen, Nicolaas Pretorius (wk), Luke Clinton, Mark Dwyer, Tomas Murphy, Howard McDonnell, Cormac McLoughlin, Mal Byrne.

Merrion (from): John Anderson (captain), Dom Joyce, Ben Ackland, Tim Lang, Kade Beasley, Rory Allwright, Neil Brown, Damian Poder, David Watkins, Sanjay Saharan, Alex Chetkovich, Jeff Short, Cillian O'Donoghue.