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Clear Currency Irish Cup Final Review & A Bit Of Everything Else

Jonny Morton  

Irish Senior Cup Winners 2022 - CIYMSCIYMS captain Nigel Jones hailed the efforts of his team after they created history by winning a first ever Irish Senior Cup title on Saturday.

After a spell of domination in local club cricket, the famous Bob Kerr trophy was the only piece of silverware missing from their ever-growing cabinet, but they completed the clean sweep with a dominant 225-run victory over Lisburn at Bready. They were in control for the duration of the first all-NCU Irish Senior Cup in over a decade as Ross Adair (32) and Chris Dougherty (93) got them off to a solid start before the latter shared a further partnership of 174 with Player of the Match, John Matchett (94).

It has been a season to remember for Matchett, who scored a century in the quarter-final victory over Pembroke and struck 12 boundaries during a 108-ball stay at the crease in the decider which set the platform for a mammoth total. He fell short of what would have been a deserved hundred after being bowled by Matthew Humphreys (1-65) trying to cut another boundary but a blistering contribution from Jason van der Merwe (49) ensured the momentum never ceased.

The 30-year-old smashed five sixes and two fours from 23 balls as CIYMS finished on 321-6 and their defence got off to the perfect start when Mark Adair (1-17) had Jonny Waite (5) caught behind in the third over. Faiz Fazal (30) has been the star for Lisburn this season and was looking dangerous once again but when he was caught off the bowling of Nigel Jones (3-15) and their other main contributor David Simpson (20) followed less than four overs later, it left the Wallace Park side struggling at 72-5.

A key strength of CI over the years has been capitalising and driving home their advantage when they have a team in danger and this was no different on the biggest stage as the spin of Jacob Mulder (2-8) and Graham Kennedy (2-9) finished off the job. Lisburn were ultimately bowled out for 96 inside 27 overs as CI secured a remarkable fifth title of 2022 and finally picked up the only one that had eluded them.

Irish Senior Cup 2022 - Nigel Jones (Captain CIYMS)"For the club as a whole it's a special occasion," Jones said in his post-match interview. "We've worked for a number of seasons to get to this point and you have to turn up on the day. We spoke about that and needing to be relaxed and the guys showed that. We've played some great cricket this year and we've been able to deliver in the big games. The boys all stepped up and it was a brilliant day."

Former Ireland international Jones has been one of the premier all-rounders in club cricket through his time with CSNI and now leading CIYMS and at the age of 40, this was the first time he had reached an Irish Cup final. That just goes to show how tough it is to win a tournament like this where the competition is fierce and he admitted what a special moment this was for him on a personal level too.

"It means a lot," he added. "I've been playing 20 seasons on this island and to get to a final and win is pretty special. It's the team that makes it special and it's their performances and contributions that help us get to this point and all credit to them."

It's a tough end to the season for Lisburn but the result doesn't take away from what a special campaign they've produced and their Robinson Services Premier League triumph will be talked about for decades to come.

They will be joined in the top-flight next year by neighbours Derriaghy, who secured their spot in the Premier League for the first time since 2016 by winning Section One on Saturday. Curtis Moorhead's side knew victory over Donacloney Mill would be enough to confirm their champion status and they did it in style, recording a 210-run victory. Craig Lewis (44), Moorhead (41) and Callum Keys (39*) all contributed to a final score of 273-7 before Ivan Sinovich (4-21) starred with the ball to limit the visitors to 44-9.

There were also title celebrations for Laurelvale as a six-wicket win against Holywood ensured they were crowned Section Two champions.

Elsewhere, Instonians III beat Lisburn III by four runs in a tense Minor (Lindsay) Cup final and Derriaghy III won the Minor Qualifying Cup on with a 10 wicket triumph over Armagh IV at The Meadow in Dundrum.

(Photos courtesy of Sportsfile)