Old Belvedere maintained their unique record of never having lost a Leinster Senior Cup final when, at Castle Avenue, yesterday, they defeated the holders, Clontarf, in the 1970 decider to have their name engraved on the trophy for the fourth time. The victory margin of 187 runs was a true reflection of the commanding grip they had on the match almost from the start of Saturday's play.

After they themselves had amassed 263 runs in six hours, 48 minutes over the two days, Old Belvedere, in only two hours, 25 minutes, routed Clontarf for 76 yesterday afternoon. Clontarf's batting troubles began early, for, with the total at 10, Brian Bunworth pulled a ball from Henry Tighe onto his wicket and, without addition to the scoreboard, Michael Carroll was unluckily run out when, after playing defensively to Alec O’Riordan, and still out of his ground, he had his wicket thrown down by George Morgan, who, from his position on the legside, had a view of only one stump.

After that disastrous beginning to their innings, having been so long in the field, only Enda McDermott and Noel Grier offered worthwhile resistance. McDermott hit three glorious fours and Grier two - the only boundaries of the Clontarf innings - in brisk knocks. Alec O’Riordan got rid of both these danger men and, as he finished, bowling unchanged, with six wickets for 22 runs in 19 overs to add to his 80 runs scored on the Saturday, he was, indisputably, the matches outstanding player.

In the bowling attack, Henry Tighe gave him wholehearted assistance. Operating down the hill, he took three wickets for 27 runs in 14 overs. And backing up these performances was fielding of a high-class. As well as the unerring control that accounted for Michael Carroll, Morgan accepted two difficult catches, while the captain, Tim O'Brien, and the wicket-keeper, Fred Daly, also took two superb catches apiece.

Even allowing for all this fine cricket by Old Belvedere, the winning of the toss was a big factor in their success. They made the most of their good fortune in having first use of the wicket and, if only for this alone, fully deserved their victory. They were all out yesterday for the addition of 57 further runs to their overnight total of 206-6. Frank O’Hanlon, who had crawled to 41 not out in five hours 20 minutes on Saturday, continued his marathon stand in slightly more carefree style and hoisted his 50 in 337 minutes. When he was eventually bowled around his legs by Michael Delaney he had been at the crease six hours 10 minutes for 61, which included only five boundaries. Yet, the value of his knock to Old Belvedere was tremendous. In a first wicket stand with Kevin O’Riordan he had helped take the spring out of the Clontarf opening attack and this paved the way undoubtedly for Alec O’Riordan's later successful onslaught on the tiring bowlers.

Clontarf's bowling heroes were Delaney and Ernie Bodell. Delaney delivered his left arm slows with intelligent variation of flight and spin. In 47.4 overs he took six wickets for 74 runs in three spells. His first, of 17 overs, yielded no wickets for 29 runs; his second of 15 overs produced three wickets for 20 runs, and in his final spell of 15.4 overs, he captured three wickets for 16 runs. If there is any consolation for Clontarf in the shambles of their defeat it must be that Delaney is a player with a very bright future.

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