The Belmont club were in direct competition with the Moylena outfit for van der Merwe, who started his career with Muckamore.
Van der Merwe’s current club Civil Service North have gradually become resigned to his departure and the switch has now effectively been rubber-stamped.
The first hint that the move was complete came when van der Merwe was pictured on social media this weekend with Ryan Hunter, who joined CI recently from Brigade, with the hasthag #teammatesagain
The move is a massive feather in the cap for CI because van der Merwe is considered amongst the most promising young batsmen in the NCU and played arguably the innings of the season against them in last season’s Challenge Cup final, when he was named man of the match.
CSNI will be devastated at losing van der Merwe, who won two Challenge Cups with them in 2014 and 2016, and who in the summer started to show the consistency to go along with his precocious talent.
Equally, Muckamore will be disappointed because they had been confident of the all-rounder returning to Moylena. Late last week they had unveiled Jarred Barnes as a seam bowling signing from Coleraine.