There’s a certain symmetry about the semi-finalists in the Bob Kerr Irish Senior Cup, two from the NCU and two from Leinster.
Instonians showed resilience to bounce back from a second consecutive loss in games they should have closed out.
Captain Nikolai Smith arguably also showed a gamblers instinct when winning the toss and choosing to bat. Firstly, he knew his side had failed to chase successfully and secondly with the forecast predicting rain which when DLS comes into play usually favours the team batting second.
Again, the top three batsmen of Smith, James Shannon and Andrew White provided the platform.
Shannon with an almost run a ball 36, before he was caught by Trevor Britton in the gully off Matt McGillivray, gave early impetus.
The pace didn’t slacken as White and Smith added a further 74, before White was somewhat unluckily stumped by Chris Dougherty off Jacob Mulder as he lost sight of where the ball had gone after playing his shot.
With the dismissal of Smith who top scored with 69 from 103 balls, the run rate dropped and the concern was could Instonians post a challenging total. This time though they did not subside, Shane Getkate made 34 and Robert McKinley 28 not out.
Perhaps though the most important psychological blows were struck by Jordan McClurkin who deposited the last two balls of the innings onto the hockey pitches to post 250.
Rain did arrive but no overs were lost and the Inst skipper Smith coming on as first change made a telling intervention immediately; John Matchett caught by McKinley and next ball the simplest of caught and bowled’s as Ryan Hunter top edged.
Nigel Jones and Dougherty regrouped, then it was the turn of James Magee to strike, McKinley with the catch to dismiss Jones and then the skipper held a superb chance above his head at mid-off to remove Dougherty.
Andrew White then ran through the lower middle order courtesy of three wickets and a run out to seal a 114-run victory.
At The Lawn Waringstown defeated Merrion by three wickets thanks to a magnificent unbeaten 107 from James McCollum and a fifth wicket partnership of 74 with captain Greg Thompson.
Earlier Merrion had been restricted to 195 with two wickets each from James Mitchell, Gary Kidd and Kyle McCallan.
In Dublin North Down ran up against an Andrew Balbirnie inspired Pembroke, the Irish international scoring 122 off 117 balls with 11x4’s and 3x6’s in a total of 301.
North Down were reduced to 90 for 6 before Peter Eakin blasted a rapid 90 with 8x4’s and 4x6’s Pembroke’s winning margin was 76 runs.