Sunday 18 February 2018

Botha class swings it as Clontarf book last-four spot

Ian Callender

Clontarf may have lost their hold on the RSA Senior Cup on Saturday but they are in the Irish Cup semi-finals after a five-wicket defeat of Fox Lodge.

Andre Botha (right), chasing a sixth winners' medal, was the hero with an unbeaten 65 after Clontarf had lost three wickets for one run to slump to 49-5 in pursuit of a modest victory target of 141, set up by Joe Morrissey's four early wickets.

Merrion remain on course for a third final in four years after a 68-run victory over Waringstown. Brett Thompson top-scored with 63 for last year's beaten finalists and early wickets for Stuart McDonald and Tyrone Kane then reduced the home side to 17-3.

When Dom Joyce had Obus Pienaar caught for just 10, Merrion's total of 206 was safe.

Surprise absentees from the last four are The Hills, the holders losing by eight wickets to Civil Service North, who are the only northern team left in the competition.

CSN won despite bowling an incredible 42 wides, but an undefeated 80 from former Ireland international Nigel Jones saw his side home with five balls to spare.

YMCA won the all-Leinster quarter-final at Claremont Road, beating North County by seven wickets thanks to an unbroken partnership of 80 between captains past and present, Alan Lewis and Albert van der Merwe, who finished on 83, bringing his weekend runs tally to 152 not out.

It completed the perfect weekend for YMCA, who defeated Malahide by seven wickets in the RSA Senior Cup semi-final.

Reinhardt Strydom, on his return from injury, took five for 44 as the Division Two side were dismissed in the 53rd over for 163.

Their opponents in the final, at Castle Avenue on July 27, will be Pembroke, who inflicted Clontarf's first defeat of the season and avenged their defeat in last year's decider with a four-wicket win at Castle Avenue.

Irish Independent

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