Villagers out to retain cup and make history
Waringstown go into Saturday’s Irish Cup Final at Stormont against Merrion (11.30am start) with a chance to make history by winning the cup for a record sixth time.
They currently have five wins in the tournament along with North County and take on Merrion for the third time in four years.
This is Waringstown’s fourth final in a row having defeated Merrion at The Lawn in 2015 before losing to the same side in 2016 at Clontarf. The Villagers regained the cup for a fifth time last year with victory over The Hills at Bready.
Waringstown have match winners right throughout their side with openers Adam Dennison and James Hall having a fantastic season and both having past 1200 runs for the season. They bat deep down with James McCollum, Shaheen Khan, Lee Nelson, captain Greg Thompson, Kyle McCallan and wicket-keeper Marcus McLean all capable of producing match winning performances.
On the bowling front seamers Shaheen Khan, Phil Eaglestone and James Mitchell can nip out early batsmen and then comes the spin attack of Gary Kidd, Kyle McCallan and Lee Nelson who have over 100 wickets between them this season.
In the Merrion side they have dangerous players with Dom Joyce, John Anderson, Tyrone Kane and Dave Langford-Smith all capable of taking the game away with either bat or ball.
It all leads to a great final this Saturday and hopefully with a good days weather at Stormont we will get a full days play and a good game of cricket with the two best sides in Irish Club cricket over the past number of years.
Route to Final: With both side having been in the final four last season they both received byes in the 1st Round. In the 2nd round holders Waringstown eased into the last eight with a 7 wicket victory at home to YMCA after bowing them out for 80 with Phil Eaglestone and Shaheen Khan taking three wickets each while James McCollum scored 38 not out while Merrion defended 273 to beat CIYMS by 10 runs.
In the 1/4 finals Waringstown drew Pembroke at home but after a washout all 1/4 finals games were moved to the followed week at the opposition grounds. Waringstown batted first in Dublin and racked up 358-2 with Adam Dennison (105) and James Hall (175*) putting on 221 for the first wicket and along with 64 not out from Shaheen Khan piled up the huge score. Pembroke never got close and the visitors won by 133 runs with spinners Gary Kidd (4-23) and Lee Nelson (4-41) both picking up 4 wickets each.
Merrion piled up 335-8 with John Anderson making 139 as they defeated Leinster by 116 runs.
In the last four again Waringstown racked up a huge 331-7 at Strabane with Kyle McCallan top scoring with 75 and taking 3-39 in a man of the match performance.
In the other semi final Merrion scraped past Clontarf by two wickets in the final over chasing 205 with John Anderson again helping his side to victory with 99 not out.
By Paddy Allen