Back to 1989 and a first win for North Down against Donemana in what was a tense and at times ill-tempered affair in Dublin.

The journey to the final had started for the Comber side with a trip to CYM and the artificial wicket. The team arrived on the Friday night, watching on tv the drama that was unfolding at Anfield as Michael Thomas scored in injury time to clinch the title for Arsenal.

There was no such drama the next day as three early wickets for Billy Adams and Kevin Copeland saw CYM make just 141. Indian Test player Raman Lamba also took two wickets and followed that up with an unbeaten 89 in a comprehensive eight-wicket win.

Next up was a thrilling derby encounter with Bangor which went down to the wire. Robin Haire top scored with 42, and Ian Shields 40 as they added 65 in their total of 184. Haire then produced a miserly spell conceding 17 runs in his ten overs as they eked out a five-run win.

A home tie in the quarter-final looked to be going all wrong as Alan Lewis raced to a century and a mammoth score looked on the cards for the Dubliners. However his dismissal sparked a remarkable collapse and a total of 216 was set. That proved no obstacle despite the early loss of Lamba. John Gilliland (114*) and Ian Shields (65) added 150 as they romped into the semi-final.

Carlisle were their opponents and having been inserted, North Down made 199, thanks for the most part to the efforts of Raman Lamba, who hit 7 fours and 3 sixes in his 124. Mark Cohen was looking good on 39 in the chase, but with skipper Ian Carser taking four wickets Carlisle finished on 155.

North Down captain Ian Carser holds the trophy

Donemana, fresh from completing the double stood in the way of North Down. The NW were considered favourites as both sides vied to win the trophy for the first time.

The weather was poor in the run-up to the final at Rathmines, as former Irish international Robin Haire recalled.

"The final itself was preceded by two days of rain in the Dublin area, so when we won the toss we didn't hesitate to bowl first on a very soft, green wicket.

"One hour later Donemana were 49 for 9 with each batsman getting out swinging harder than the previous one.

"Alan Dunn and Raymond Mitchell played very well adding 52 for the last wicket to give them a target to bowl at."

(Robin Haire with his sons Ryan and Andrew)

The game was filled was controversy from start to finish. Donemana opener Angus Scott upset at being given caught at slip when he felt the ball hadn't carried.

The mood didn't improve and as the day progressed the tension became unbearable, despite at one stage it looking as if the win would be a routine one  as Ian Shields and Raman Lamba opened up with an excellent partnership of 34,

However, the McBrine triumvirate (James, Junior and Roy) had other ideas as North Down collapsed to 68 for 6 - game very much on!

Two unlikely heroes emerged as Billy Doherty and Michael Quinn added an unbeaten 34 run partnership to give the Comber side their first Irish cup success.

The turning point was two sixes by Michael Quinn off Decker Curry - the Irish international getting a taste of his own medicine. Quinn's aggression sparked by an unsporting incident.

"One abiding memory was an incident near the end of the match when a fielder threw the ball in after it rebounded off the boundary wall close by the lovely old Rathmines pavilion," said Haire.

"Pandemonium broke out when the umpire who had been unsighted gave two instead of four runs .

"Next ball Michael Quinn hit a 6 which sailed over the same fielders head. Suffice to say the large North Down following enjoyed asking the fielder if he stopped that!"

"In truth this partnership was worth a lot more, given the circumstances and is regarded by the club as one of the finest and most talked about in its history."

1989 Winners North Down

It was a case of third time lucky for North Down after losses in 1985 and 1988, and this victory would be a launchpad for two further successes in the 90s.

For Donemana their pursuit of the missing jewel in the crown would have to wait another 11 years, finally tasting glory in 2000 with victory over Limavady.

1989 Donemana Vs North Down
1-Innings Match Played At Rathmines, 02-Sep-1989, Irish Senior Cup
North Down Win by 4 wkts

Round Final
Toss won by Donemana
Umpires S Moore - L Keegan
Home Side (neutral)
Player of Match R Lamba

Donemana 1st Innings 101/10 All Out (Overs 41.4)

Batsman Fieldsman Bowler Runs Bls 4s 6s
A Scott c R Lamba b W Adams 6 0 0 0
A (Junior) McBrine lbw b R Lamba 1 0 0 0
J McBrine   b W Adams 5 0 0 0
Des (Decker) Curry c I Carser b W Adams 1 0 0 0
I Dougherty   b R Lamba 0 0 0 0
R McBrine lbw b I Carser 15 0 0 0
R McGonigle c B Docherty b R Lamba 8 0 0 0
Alf Dunn c I Shields b G Benson 3 0 0 0
Alan Dunn c Robin Haire b J Gilliland 30 0 0 0
R Kerr st I Connolly b I Carser 0 0 0 0
R Mitchell* not out   24 0 0 0
extras   (b0 lb3 w5 nb0) 8      
TOTAL   10 wickets for 101      
1-7 2-9 3-11 4-16 5-18 6-40 7-40 8-48 9-49 10-101
Bowler Overs Maid Runs Wkts wd nb
R Lamba 10 2 12 3 - -
W Adams 10 1 34 3 - -
I Carser 10 4 9 2 - -
G Benson 4 0 12 1 - -
Robin Haire 4 0 17 0 - -
M Quinn 3 0 13 0 - -
J Gilliland .4 0 1 1 - -

North Down 1st Innings 102/6 Closed (Overs 47.5)

Batsman Fieldsman Bowler Runs Bls 4s 6s
I Shields lbw b A (Junior) McBrine 10 0 0 0
R Lamba c I Dougherty b J McBrine 35 0 0 0
J Gilliland lbw b J McBrine 1 0 0 0
Robin Haire st I Dougherty b R McBrine 10 0 0 0
I Carser* lbw b R McBrine 5 0 0 0
G Benson st I Dougherty b R McBrine 0 0 0 0
B Docherty not out   13 0 0 0
M Quinn not out   21 0 0 0
G Mowat dnb          
I Connolly+ dnb          
W Adams dnb          
extras   (b0 lb7 w0 nb0) 7      
TOTAL   6 wickets for 102      
1-34 2-47 3-56 4-67 5-68 6-68
Bowler Overs Maid Runs Wkts wd nb
R Mitchell 4 1 7 0 - -
R Kerr 4 1 7 0 - -
A (Junior) McBrine 10 4 12 1 - -
J McBrine 10 0 23 2 - -
R McBrine 10 3 17 3 - -
Des (Decker) Curry 9.5 5 29 0 - -