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Former Ireland star McCallan smashes 10 off last two balls to seal Waringstown's spot in another All Ireland final

 

Kyle McCallan was the hero for Waringstown in Sunday's All Ireland semi-final victory.
Kyle McCallan was the hero for Waringstown in Sunday's All Ireland semi-final victory.

By Ian Callender

Kyle McCallan hit the last two balls of a thrilling Irish Senior Cup semi-final for six and four to continue Waringstown's phenomenal run in the competition and end CIYMS' charge for a clean sweep of the trophies this year.

The Villagers have lost only one Irish Cup match in the last five years - the 2016 final - and their never-say-die spirit keeps them on course for a hat-trick of victories.

CI have been the team that never know when they are beaten, winning the NCU T20 final against Waringstown just 10 days ago with a superb last over from Nigel Jones, but it was an injury to their skipper which, arguably, led them to only their third defeat of the season.

Jones went over on his ankle as he tried to prevent a boundary in the closing stages and, as a result, was unable to bowl his final two overs.

The responsibility was handed to professional Obus Pienaar but he conceded 11 off the 48th over and after Mark Adair had restricted McCallan and Haseeb Azam to just five runs in the penultimate over, Waringstown were left needing 10 to win from the last six balls.

Pienaar made the perfect start, with only a bye and a single from the first four balls, so it was still eight required from the last two balls with the veteran McCallan on strike.

It was the South African who could not stand the pressure, dragging down his fifth ball and McCallan made a sweet contact to deposit it over the square leg boundary.

Just two to win from the last and McCallan cut it to thirdman and even before it had reached the fence the former Ireland captain, belying his 43 years, set off on a lap of honour, throwing his helmet in the air in celebration.

It was a fitting finale to a match to remember, with literally nothing to separate the sides until that final delivery.

Only two batsmen on either side reached 50 and, remarkably, after identical rearguard innings, both were out next ball, Chris Dougherty after facing 98 balls with four fours and a six and opposite number Adam Dennison from 91 balls with just three boundaries.

Dougherty's wicket was the first of three in successive overs as CI collapsed from 97-2 to 107-5 and it needed a seventh-wicket stand of 48 between Jason van der Merwe and Jacob Mulder to get the Premier League leaders back on track.

Britton and James Cameron-Dow then added 17 runs from the last 10 balls and at halfway no one really had any confidence naming a winner.

Waringstown also lost two quick wickets at the 30-over mark to slump from 108-2 to 112-4 and when skipper Greg Thompson fell to a superb diving catch by Jones, it looked all over for Waringstown.

But Haseeb Azam, who has disappointed with the bat for most of the season, came good, and despite three excellent overs from international Adair, helped McCallan add 53 from 11 overs. That left 10 from the last. Over to you Kyle.

In the final on August 31 in The Hills, Waringstown will come up against last year's professional Shaheen Khan after Pembroke defeated Phoenix in yesterday's other semi-final by seven wickets.

IRISH SENIOR CUP SEMI-FINALS

Belmont: CIYMS 206-8 (50 overs, C Dougherty 52, J van der Merwe 47, J Mulder 22; K McCallan 3-31, G Kidd 2-52) Waringstown 209-6 (50 overs, A Dennison 50, H Azam 40, J McCollum 33, K McCallan 24 not out, L Nelson 20; J Mulder 3-31, J Cameron-Dow 2-42). Waringstown won by four wickets.

Phoenix Park: Phoenix 136 (36 overs, N Pretorius 48, P Mehta 38; B McCarthy 4-13, S Khan 4-14, J Balbirnie 2-37) Pembroke 142-3 (31.3 overs, A Balbirnie 54, L Tucker 41 not out, F Tucker 29). Pembroke won by seven wickets.

ROBINSON SERVICES PREMIER LEAGUE

The Green: North Down 223-5 (50 overs, P Eakin 114 not out, N Burns 45, C Robinson 32 ret; M Foster 3-47) Civil Service North 224-7 (48.3 overs, M Ellison 129 not out, G Wilson 30, A Cowden 25; P Eakin 3-50, P Davison 2-34). Civil Service North won by three wickets.

Shaw's Bridge: Carrickfergus 343-7 (50 overs, J Snyman 190 not out, I Parkhill 41, A Haggan 41, M Gilmour 31; S Getkate 3-54, J Shannon 3-54) Instonians 172 (N Smith 54, R McKinley 47, J Hunter 27; A Haggan 3-3, CJ van der Walt 2-28, R Hood 2-30). Carrickfergus won by 171 runs.

NATIONAL CUP SEMI-FINALS

Queensway: Derriaghy 83 (26.4 overs, D Poulton 20; H Maan 4-12, P Kamal 3-6, C Laycock 2-18, H Sultan 2-23) Railway Union 84-2 (11.2, K O'Brien 32 not out, C Queri 21, C Moorhead 2-27). Railway Union won by eight wickets.

The Bleachgreen: Ardmore 289-8 (40 overs, P Pienaar 106, D Curry 33, J Wilson 26, P McDowell 25; P Ryan 3-47, D Vaughan 2-36) Terenure 192 (33.1 overs, D Vaughan 55, S Lynch 52, K McDonald 32, J Webster 26; D Curry 3-19, L Brolly 3-43, J Wilson 3-33). Ardmore won by 97 runs.

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