Waringstown took a step closer to defending their Irish Senior Cup title with an emphatic seven wicket win over YMCA in the second round on Sunday.
In spite of being one of the most anticipated and hotly contested games of the weekend on paper, the result was never really in doubt.
Even from the early stages, with Shaheen Khan and Phil Eaglestone getting the Villagers off to a fantastic start as the latter dismissed Blair-White in the second over before Khan had Harry Tector caught at backward point by Greg Thompson for three, leaving YMCA 7-2.
It didn’t ever get much better for the Dubliners as the two bowlers continued to bowl with pace, accuracy and consistency, and when Leinster Lightning opener Harry Tector was caught by wicketkeeper Marcus McClean off the bowling of Khan for five, they were 19-5 with Murphy and Gunning also back in the shed.
James Mitchell replaced Eaglestone and it didn’t take him long to get his first dismissal as Parkinson inside edged a ball through to McClean who took a smart catch with the scores sitting at 38-7.
There was a brief partnership between Tim Tector and Aviral Shukla for the eighth wicket which was worth 34 until Adam Dennison ended it with a fantastic direct hit run out in the covers, and Tector was then caught off the bowling of Gary Kidd for a defiant 29, with Kidd finishing with figures of 1-12 from his 10 overs.
The innings was brought to an end when Kyle McCallan bowled Flanagan in the 36th over as YMCA were dismissed for 80.
They will be massively disappointed with their showing, and although they were missing star man Simi Singh who is playing for Ireland in the Netherlands, it shouldn’t impact a team as much as it did.
Waringstown’s bowlers were in superb form and they cover all bases with the pace of Khan, Eaglestone and Mitchell followed by the spinning threat of McCallan and Kidd, with the likes of James Hall, Lee Nelson and Greg Thompson ready if required.
It was never going to take them long to knock off the runs, but YMCA would have been thinking of pulling off mission impossible when Hall was caught for 0 in the second over, leaving Waringstown 1-1.
Dennison, following on from his 49 in the league on Saturday, looked in fine touch again before he was caught for 19 with the score 24-2.
James McCollum stayed at the crease to the end as he seen his side through to a seven wicket win, finishing on 38, with Lee Nelson the only other wicket to fall after he was caught in the slips for nine.
Waringstown have been involved in the last three finals, and on that performance it is going to take something special to stop them making it four on the trot.
They once again proved why they are reigning Premier League and Irish Cup champions, and offered a reminder that they are still one of, if not the, best team in Ireland.