Photo Credit: Sportsfile
This weekend will see the quarter-finals of both the Arachas Irish Senior Cup and Arachas National Cup take place – sixteen clubs will be vying for a place in the semi-finals of the respective competitions.
Of the eight teams still left in the Arachas Irish Senior Cup six are from Leinster, and two from the Northern Cricket Union (NCU), while in the Arachas National Cup, three are from the NCU, two from the North West Cricket Union (NWCU), two from Cricket Leinster and one from Munster (MCU).
The tie of the round in the Arachas Irish Senior Cup is undoubtedly the meeting of Waringstown and Merrion at The Lawn. These sides have a great history in the Irish Senior Cup, with Waringstown having won the title six times, from eight final appearances – while Merrion have won it twice, after appearing in four finals. They met in the final on three separate occasions, in 2015, 2016, and 2018.
Their route to the quarter-finals saw Waringstown beat Newbuildings comfortably in the first round before beat Clontarf by 29 runs in a thrilling second round clash – thanks largely to an unbeaten half-century from Morgan Topping – while Merrion were easy winners over Cork Harlequins in the opening round, and then went on to take the quite significant scalp of YMCA in their re-arranged second round fixture last weekend. The victory, by seven wickets included a century from Swapnil Modgill along with an unbeaten 92 from Sam Harbinson.
2019 Irish Senior Cup winners Pembroke, who saw off Cork County in the last round, will face off against last season’s Leinster Premiership champions Balbriggan in a fascinating clash at Sydney Parade. Andre Botha’s side were 34-run victors over Railway Union in the second round, where a ninth-wicket century partnership between Mark Pollard and Kashif Ali was crucial in the win.
After their brilliant 45-run victory over last year’s winners CIYMS in the last round, Leinster take on Phoenix in Rathmines. Both sides have won the famous Bob Kerr trophy once before, Leinster in 2009, when they beat Donemana, and Phoenix back in 1986, also defeating Donemana.
In the final quarter-final The Hills, comfortable victors over both Fox Lodge and Carrickfergus so far in the competition, host Instonians, who surprised many by knocking out 2022 runners-up Lisburn in the last round.
In the Arachas National Cup Rush continue their assault on a fourth title as they head to Donegal to face St Johnston at The Boathole. Whopping victories over Strabane, and reigning champions North County will see the Leinster side head to the North West full of confidence, despite being knocked out of the Leinster Senior Cup by Malahide last weekend.
Fellow Leinster side Terenure, runners-up in the competition last year, will face a tricky assignment as they take on 2012 winners Muckamore, currently unbeaten in the NCU’s League One. Terenure came through a close contest with Knockharley in the last round, winning by just three runs. Muckamore have beaten both Wexford Wanderers and North Kildare on their run to the quarter-finals.
It’s an NCU v NWCU clash at the Castle Grounds as Cliftonville Academy host Killyclooney. The visitors are in great form this season, while Cliftonville’s season has been a bit up and down. Blayde Capell, Killyclooney’s overseas professional this year has been scoring runs for fun, including when he scored 136 off 99 balls when they beat Civil Service a couple of weeks ago. Cliftonville were wide margin winners over Athlone in the last round, with both Francis Collins and Jared Wilson scoring centuries.
Limerick, who pulled off something of an upset in the second round by beating Cregagh, face a long trip north as they travel to take on Derriaghy at Queensway.
Arachas Irish Senior Cup – Quarter Final Draw
• The Hills v Instonians
• Pemroke v Balbriggan
• Waringstown v Merrion
• Leinster v Phoenix
All matches are due to get underway at 12.30pm. Home teams listed first.
Arachas National Cup – Quarter Final Draw
• St Johnston v Rush
• Muckamore v Terenure
• Cliftonville Academy v Killyclooney
• Derriaghy v Limerick
All matches are due to get underway at 1.30pm. Home teams listed first.