Kane will be fit and firing says skipper

Merrion captain Rory Allwright believes Ireland international Tyrone Kane will be fit enough to make a big impact in Saturday’s Irish Cup final against Waringstown.

The Ireland all-rounder has been out with a side strain in recent weeks, and will have played no competitive cricket ahead of his return on the biggest stage in Irish club cricket.

Allright said: “He had the injury about three weeks ago but he has been training and working his way back gradually.

“He is a massive man for us, not only on the pitch, but around the club as a whole.”

Allright admits the Merrion selectors had a difficult task to “whittle down” to the starting 11. No other club in Ireland enjoys their reserves of playing talent and their batting depth especially marks them down as favourites against the NCU team and host club.

The captain insists Merrion will not be reading too much into events at The Lawn last week, when Waringstown only just chased 69 to beat CIYMS.

“We keep a close eyes on the scores and we did see that one,” he said. “I think it helps that we have been there before and won. It gives you a bit of comfort knowing your surroundings.

“Waringstown have a few experienced players there and they have depth, a bit like ourselves, and you need that to get this far in the Irish Cup. We will be focusing on our own performance though.”

Teams: Waringstown: Lee Nelson, James Hall, James McCollum, Lee Nelson, Adam Dennison, JP De Villiers, Greg Thompson, David Dawson, Kyle McCallan, Jonathan Bushe, Gary Kidd, Phil Eaglestone, 12th/13th James Mitchell and Stuart Kidd. Merrion: Rory Allwright (captain), Dom Joyce, Dave Langford-Smith, John Anderson, Tyrone Kane, Michael Lewis, Lennard Bester, Robin Smith, David Rhoda, Tom Stanton, Hugh Kennedy.

Play is scheduled to start at 11.30am.