It had been billed as one of the closest finals in years but in the end it turned out a totally one-sided affair as The Hills trounced Merrion by 8 wickets.

Hills skipper Naseer Shaukat was named Man of the Match by adjudicator Phil Simmons and deservedly so after returning match figures of 3 for 16 as Merrion struggled to post a competitive score - taking 48 overs to make 153.

Merrion struggled from the outset, having decided to bat after winning the toss, as The Hills attack took a stranglehold on proceedings which they never relinquished.

The safety first approach made for turgid viewing throughout although Merrion will feel aggrieved at the dismissal of Dom Joyce for 51 when the total had reached 87 in the 33rd over.

Joyce felt that wicket-keeper Pretorious wasn't in control of the ball when the bails came off, but the men that matter - the umpires ruled otherwise.

John Anderson made 47 and with him and professional Tim Lang at the crease on 122-2 with 11 overs left, the Anglesea Road outfit must have harboured ambitions of a score of around 200.

Shaukat (3-16), Like Clinton (2-26) and Tomas Murphy (2-25) bowled superbly in the death overs and at the half-way stage the final was The Hills to lose.

The result was never really in any doubt as the Merrion attack proved toothless.

Jonno Andrews (24) hit five boundaries in adding 54 with Daryl Calder, who batted resolutely for his 64 not out from 114 balls (8 fours).

Mike Baumgart (36) was the only other wicket to fall as The Hills coasted to an 8 wicket win.