THE HILLS reclaimed the Irish Senior Cup in a thrilling final yesterday, ruining Clontarf's bid for a clean sweep of cups. In front of a huge, partisan crowd the Fingal side showed all their battling qualities in a nine run victory.

A partnership of 105 between man of the match Cormac McLoughlin (75) and Mike Baumgart (62) laid the foundation for the Hills, and on 206-3 with more than six overs left a huge target seemed certain.

But nerves set in and wickets tumbled, with Paul Ryan and Zander Van der Merwe cashing in on a remarkable collapse. Seven wickets fell for 33 runs and Clontarf were suddenly looking at a much smaller chase.

They got off to a bad start, losing Mark Collier to Max Sorensen's lethal second appeal and Colin Currie soon after. But just as the Hills did, a partnership rescued the innings, with Bill Coghlan (40) and Andrew Poynter (41) adding 77 before they were both out with the score on 95.

Eoghan Delany (41) and Adrian D'Arcy (51) then took the hosts to the brink of victory before the Tarf innings again took on the shape of their opponents and wickets started to tumble. Delany had battled hard, showing a bit of flash with his patented "Delscoop" but a rush of blood saw him stumped off Naseer Shaukat and the innings unravelled.

Max Sorensen and Shaukat are as good a death overs pair as you will find and they were well backed by their catchers and fielders. An at time fractious game flared-up when Ryan was given run out and accused Sorensen of blocking him as went for a second run. The batsman objected and the crowd seethed as the umpires conferred, but their decision stood.

The final three wickets were caught in the outer as Clontarf chased the game but they fell nine short.