The first OCC silverware of the year will be handed out this weekend, with the finals of the Tillain Cup, YMCA Salver and Whelan Cup all being held in Observatory Lane, Rathmines on Saturday 16th July.
First off at 11am will be the Whelan Cup, the competition for teams from approximately Division 9 down. The final will be contested by two Division 9 teams, North County 4 and Dundrum 2. Both are having good seasons in the league, and Dundrum came out narrow winners in their league encounter with North County last weekend.
North County have played an extra game in the competition, with a preliminary round win over The Hills, before wins against Malahide 5 (a tie), Laois 3 and Civil Service 3. Top run scorer in the cup run has been Brian Smyth (89 runs at 29.67) whilst top wicket take has been Rafael Evans with 15 at 15.71.
Meanwhile, Dundrum have had Renjith Nair to thank with four wickets at 15.25 and with the bat, Alex Mathew has dominated with 148 runs for only once out. Wicklow County 3, Merrion 7 and Sandyford 2 were the three teams to be knocked out by the men from south Dublin.
The second match is the YMCA SAlver, which should start around 2pm (weather permitting). This competition for teams from Division 5-8, will be between Laois 2 (of Division 6) and Merrion 3 (of Division 5).
Laois 2 have had a pretty decent season, currently second in Division 6. Three north Dublin teams were vanquished by Laois - Balbriggan 2, North County 3 and Clontarf 3. M Mughal is the top Laois YM Salver run scorer with 79 runs at 39.5 whilst the destroyer with leather in hand has been the irrepressible Amir Khan with 6 wickets at 14
Merrion 3 beat YMCA 3, Dundrum 1, and Railway Union 3 on their way to the final. Sanjay Saharan (who has narowly missed out on a double century with the bat this season) is the top wicket taker with nine wickets at 4.67, and Adam O'Keefe with 79 at 26.33 the leading run scorer.
Finally, the main event of the day (at least for those involved) is the Tillain Cup final, the 20/20 tournament for Division 3 and 4 teams. Two first XIs will be locking horns at 5pm, Balbriggan and Oakhill, and a fascinating encounter seems assured.
Balbriggan's path to the final has been relatively smooth, with wins over North Kildare 1, Malahide 2 and Clontarf 2, whilst Oakhill were made to work a little harder after being ordered to reply their quarter final win. However they seem to have emerged stronger, and after a bye in the first round, and those two victories over Merrion 2 in the quarter final, they also overcame Railway Union 3 in the semi final.
Sarfraz Anwar has been the main man with bat (and normally ball as well) for Balbriggan this season, and returning to his former stomping ground of Rathmines, he will be the man to watch. So far in the Tillainm he has top scored for Balbriggan with 127 runs at 63.50. Albert Harper shows no signs of his powers diminishing either being the top wicket taker with 7 wickets at 10.43.
Oakhill's bowling attack is spearheaded by Richard Hastie, a spinner still feared the province over. His six wickets at 6.15 propelling Oakhill to the final. Chris Cowley has scored 57 runs at 23.5 in the Tillain, but has also scored 105 in a 20 over Cup match replay, so is obviously capable of the big innings
The action kicks off in Rathmines at 11am, with BBQs, the bar and entertainment provided all day. There is some car parking, but the ground is easily accessible by Dublin Bus and Luas