Merrion completed a comfortable 78 run victory over Balbriggan to secure a home Quarter-Final against Terenure in the IBI Corporate Finance Leinster Senior Cup.
Michael Lewis had a day to remember as he top-scored with 61 before taking four catches as Balbriggan lost wickets at regular intervals throughout the chase.
Promoted to number three in the order, Lewis enjoyed his batting playing some fine shots around the ground.
Mehta, Kane and Hitchcock all went in no time and Merrion were 93/4 after 15 overs, however Lewis upped the ante and moved to his half-century off 49 deliveries.
Niranjan Shankar came in at number 8 for Merrion ad played a vital hand in pushing the total past 200. He came to the crease with the score on 130, but his 7-boundary, 49-ball 50 added late impetus to the innings.
Regular opener Jack Carty came in at nine for Merrion but didn’t make an impact, John Anderson batting at 10 did however. His quick cameo of 29 not out, brought the Merrion total to 237/9 off 40 overs and made the Balbriggan challenge that much harder.
Carty may not have come off with the bat today, but his front-line bowling was spot on. His 6 overs left him with figures of 1-16 after he bowled Adrian Harper for 5.
His opening partner Sean Stanton took 2-48 off his 8 overs as they both struck early and Merrion took wickets before any partnership really took hold for the home side.
For all the pressure the opening bowlers put on, Poonish Mehta’s 3-14 off his quota in the middle overs, really knocked Balbriggan too far behind the run rate for a successful chase.
Nathan Rooney smashed a belligerent 50 before Stanton and Lewis combined to dismiss him a ball after a massive square 6 had brought him to his half-century.
With Rooney and Samud departing in an over, Balbriggan were 136/9 and it was now just a matter of time until Merrion sealed the victory.
They were made to wait a little while however. Captain Duane Harper (8*) and young Mel McGee (4) saw off the end of Mehta’s pace and Anderson’s guile to put on 23 before Shankar took the final wicket and Merrion were through to the quarter-final.
All that was left was for several of the watching children to secure their autographs and selfies with Irish Test player Tyrone Kane, on yet another sun-kissed afternoon.
IBI Corporate Finance Leinster Senior Cup
At Jack Harper Memorial Park;
Merrion 237/9 (Michael Lewis 61, Niranjan Shankar 54; Timcen Maruma 2-26, Ehtesham Ahmed, 2-33)
Balbriggan 159 all out (Nathan Rooney 50; Poonish Mehta 3-14)
Merrion win by 78 runs